News / Africa

Mia Farrow's War Crimes Testimony Contradicts Naomi Campbell

Actress Mia Farrow, left, is seen holding the bible being sworn on a screen in the pressroom of the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, Netherlands, 09 Aug 2010
Actress Mia Farrow, left, is seen holding the bible being sworn on a screen in the pressroom of the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, Netherlands, 09 Aug 2010

Multimedia

Audio

American Actress Mia Farrow testified Monday at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. She told the court at The Hague that supermodel Naomi Campbell claimed in1997 to have been given a large diamond by Mr. Taylor after a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela. However, Farrow's testimony contradicts Campbell's own evidence given last week.

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

Naomi Campbell in the pressroom of the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, Netherlands.
Naomi Campbell in the pressroom of the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam, Netherlands.

The morning after the party, she said, fellow guest Naomi Campbell told her that Charles Taylor had sent her a diamond in 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," Mia Farrow said.

Campbell's former agent Carole White also testified Monday. She told the court that Mr. Taylor had promised Campbell the diamonds over dinner.

Both White and Farrow contradicted what Naomi Campbell told the court last week.

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

Mr. 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

Prosecutors say Mr. Taylor traded diamonds mined in Sierra Leone for weapons, which he smuggled into the country.

They say the gift given to Campbell links him to these so-called "blood diamonds".

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

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

"Yes, they are real diamonds," Police Spokesperson Musa Zondisaid. "We cannot tell whether they are 'blood diamonds' or not. 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.'"

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

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs