News / Africa

Model's Ex-Agent Accused of Telling Lies at Taylor War Crimes Trial

The lawyer for former Liberian President Charles Taylor has accused a witness of  lying about a diamond gift during testimony in a war crimes trial Tuesday.

Taylor's lawyer said the accusations by Naomi Campbell's former agent, Carole White, are not true.

 

White began her testimony Monday before the war crimes tribunal in the Hague, in the Netherlands.

She said Taylor promised Campbell a diamond, after flirting with the model at a South African dinner in 1997.

White stuck to her version of events under cross examination Tuesday, saying she told the same story to friends in 1997.

Prosecutors say the testimony links the former Liberian president to the so-called "blood diamond" trade that supported Sierra Leone rebels in their decade-long civil war that ended in 2002.

Taylor is facing 11 charges, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, for allegedly instigating the rebel campaign of murder, rape and mutilation that left more than 100,000 people dead.

American actress Mia Farrow also testified Monday. She said she remembers Campbell being quite excited when she appeared for breakfast the morning after the dinner, telling other diners she had been awakened in the middle of the night by men who said they had been sent by Charles Taylor and had given her a huge diamond.

Diamonds are central to the prosecution's case against Taylor, who they say traded in the gems mined in Sierra Leone for weapons that he sent back into the country to supply the rebels.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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