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Hague Testimonies Contradict Campbell's Claim in Liberia War Crimes Trial

American Actress Mia Farrow has testified at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. She told the court at The Hague that in 1997 supermodel Naomi Campbell claimed to have been given a large diamond by Mr. Taylor after a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela. Campbell's former agent Carole White also testified. Farrow's and White's testimonies contradict Campbell's statements given last week.

What Farrow told the court

Actress Mia Farrow was questioned by the court about the events surrounding a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in 1997.

Farrow said during breakfast the following morning, fellow guest Naomi Campbell told her that Charles Taylor had sent her a diamond during the night.

"She [Naomi Campbell] said that in the night she had been awakened, some men were knocking at the door, and they had been sent by Charles Taylor, and they had given her a huge diamond."

What White told the court

Campbell's former agent Carole White also testified Monday. She said Charles Taylor had told Campbell over dinner that he would give her a diamond.

Both testimonies contradict what Naomi Campbell told the court last week.

What Campbell said

Campbell said she had been given a "few dirty pebbles" in the middle of the night. But she stopped short of saying she had known they were from Mr. Taylor.

Taylor denies having given diamonds to the supermodel.

Accusations against Taylor

Charles Taylor is on trial for his alleged role in Sierra Leone's decade long civil war.

The prosecution says that Mr. Taylor - then president of Liberia -- controlled rebel forces in Sierra Leone who raped, murdered, and mutilated thousands of civilians.

Diamonds are central to the case. The prosecution says Mr. Taylor traded diamonds mined in Sierra Leone for weapons, which he smuggled into the country.

Prosecutors say the gift that Mr. Taylor allegedly gave to Campbell links him to so-called "blood diamonds".

Conflicting testimony

Although the three witnesses have varying accounts of the events 13 years ago, police in South Africa say the stones given to Campbell are diamonds.

Campbell had given the stones to then head of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund Jeremy Ratcliffe, who recently handed them to police.

"Yes, they are real diamonds. We cannot tell whether they are 'blood diamonds' or not," said police spokesperson Musa Zondi. "That will be part of the investigation because you still need people to say "Yes, I know these diamonds; these are diamonds which were given to me."

Celebrity central

The appearance at The Hague of international celebrities has turned the world's attention to Mr. Taylor's trial.

Campaigners say it has helped to shine a spotlight on the violent consequences of the trade in illicit diamonds - a spotlight they hope will remain even after the celebrities have left.

Charles Taylor has been charged by the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone with 11 war crimes charges, including murder, rape, sexual enslavement and recruiting child soldiers. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

More than 100,000 people were left dead after Sierra Leone's Civil War, which ended in 2002.