naomi campbell.jpgA Sierra Leone war crimes court has ordered British model, Naomi Campbell to give evidence over a ‘blood diamond’ prosecutors say former Liberian president Charles Taylor gave her.

Reports say prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone sought in May to call Ms Campbell, who has so far refused to testify, saying she can provide material evidence to invalidate Mr Taylor’s claims that he never possessed rough diamonds.

 

 

In a ruling, the court ordered the supermodel to appear at the court in The Hague on 29 July ‘or to show good cause’ why she cannot comply with the subpoena.

 

Prosecutors accuse Mr Taylor of taking diamonds to South Africa to buy weapons, a charge he denies.

 

Besides Ms Campbell, prosecutors have also been granted the right to call testimony from modelling agent, Carole White and US actress, Mia Farrow.

 

Both women are prepared to give testimony voluntarily, prosecutors have said.

 

Prosecutors say Ms White heard Mr Taylor say he was going to give Ms Campbell some diamonds and was there when Ms Campbell received them, while Ms Farrow attended the reception where the supermodel met Taylor and was told by Ms Campbell about the gift the next morning.

 

According to the prosecutors Mr Taylor armed and directed Revolutionary United Front rebels to win control of neighbouring Sierra Leone’s diamond mines and destabilise its government to boost his regional influence during the country’s 1991-2002 civil war.

 

A spokeswoman in London had earlier said Ms Campbell had no comment to make on a court ruling this week paving the way for prosecutors to seek testimony from the model.

 

Contempt of the Sierra Leone court carries a prison sentence of up to seven years, a fine or both.

 

The subpoena will be served on Ms Campbell’s London-based lawyer, Gideon Benaim, who has been instructed to receive the subpoena on behalf of his clientl and take any further necessary measures to have the subpoena served and executed, seeking the assistance of British government officials, where appropriate