Sunday, July 11, 2010

Naomi Campbell to testify at Charles Taylor trial

Source: BBC News Africa

E-mail this to a friendPrintable version Naomi Campbell is scheduled to appear on 29 July Supermodel Naomi Campbell has confirmed she will give evidence at the war crimes trial of the former Liberia President Charles Taylor.

Mr Taylor is on trial at the UN-backed tribunal in The Hague accused of using diamonds to fuel a conflict in Sierra Leone that killed tens of thousands.

Prosecutors had summoned Ms Campbell to testify over reports that she received diamonds from Mr Taylor in 1997.

Ms Campbell is scheduled to appear on 29 July.

Mandela reception
Ms Campbell's public relations company, Outside Organisation, announced late on Friday that she would attend.

A spokeswoman said: "She is a witness who has been asked to help clarify events in 1997. Miss Campbell has made it clear that she is willing to help the due process of law.

CHARLES TAYLOR
Continue reading the main story

1997: Elected Liberian president

2003: Arrest warrant issued, steps down, goes into exile in Nigeria

2006: Arrested, sent to Sierra Leone

2007: Trial opens in The Hague

Profile: Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor

Q&A: Trying Charles Taylor
"For avoidance of doubt, she is not being accused of any wrongdoing and is not on trial."

Prosecutors want to know whether Ms Campbell received diamonds from Mr Taylor at a reception hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.

A spokesman for the special court for Sierra Leone previously said Ms Campbell had denied receiving the gems and refused to talk to prosecutors.

In an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Ms Campbell neither confirmed nor denied that she received gems, instead saying: "I don't want to be involved in this man's case. He has done some terrible things, and I don't want to put my family in danger."

US actress Mia Farrow, who Ms Campbell allegedly told about the gift, may also testify.

Mr Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges at the UN-backed tribunal.

It has spent more than two years hearing the case.

Mr Taylor, 62, is suspected of selling diamonds and buying weapons for Sierra Leone's RUF rebels, who were notorious for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians during the 1991-2001 civil war.

Tens of thousands of people died in the interlinked conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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