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Naomi Campbell Subpoenaed in War Crimes Trial; What's A Nice Supermodel Doing in a Case Like This?

British model Naomi Campbell arrives for the Elle Style 2010 Awards in central London, Monday, Feb. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan) AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Naomi Campbell at the Elle Style Awards in London, Feb. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (CBS/AP) Don't try telling Naomi Campbell that diamonds are a girl's best friend.

The supermodel is being subpoenaed to testify at the Hague in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor - and it all has to do with whether Taylor gave Campbell a diamond as a gift more than a decade ago.

Campbell - who's had some less political brushes with the law - finds herself thrust into this case because prosecutors hope she'll testify that Taylor gave her a rough, or uncut, diamond, during a celebrity-packed 1997 reception in South Africa hosted by then-President Nelson Mandela. They contend Campbell's testimony will show Taylor lied when he testified that he never possessed rough diamonds.

It matters to the case against Taylor because prosecutors allege he dealt in the so-called "blood diamonds" - those mined in a war zone, where the proceeds finance an insurgency. Taylor is accused of supporting rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war, which claimed an estimated 500,000 victims of killings, and other atrocities.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone issued the order Thursday forcing Campbell to testify July 29, after she avoided prosecutors for a year and made it known she had no wish to be part of the case. The court warned Campbell that she could be jailed for up to seven years if she refuses to comply.

As far as we know, the subpoena did not say to wear something sparkly.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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