Supermodel Naomi Campbell is expected to testify on Aug. 5 at Charles Taylor's war crimes trial in The Hague, The Associated Press reported.
Campbell allegedly received a diamond from the former Liberian leader after a reception hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997. In a written statement to the court, actress Mia Farrow claimed Campbell told her an "unforgettable story" about being awoken during the night by "two or three men" who presented her with the large, uncut stone and said it was from Taylor.
Taylor is the first former African head of state to face an international war crimes trial. He is accused of instigating murder, rape, mutilation, sexual slavery, conscription of child soldiers and trading in "blood diamonds" during the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone, which killed over 250,000 people. Blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds, are gems mined in a war zone and used to finance an insurgency. During his testimony, Taylor claimed that he never possessed such stones.
Special security measures have been ordered for Campbell's court appearance, AFP reported. The press is is barred from shooting pictures of her entering or leaving the courtroom, and videotaping or sketching her in or around the courtroom. While media outlets will have access to her testimony, which will be aired on a live feed, the Special Court for Sierra Leone refused to grant a gag order that was requested by Campbell's attorney. The court also ruled that Campbell's lawyer may have a limited right to intervene on whether to allow questions that could incriminate her, Reuters reported.
"Naomi has not done anything wrong. She is a witness and not on trial herself. Whilst she would rather not be involved in this case at all, she will nevertheless attend to assist the court as requested," Gideon Benaim, Campbell's lawyer, said.
Taylor's defense team is seeking to delay Campbell's testimony, The Telegraph reported, arguing that it has not been given a summary of her evidence and thus cannot prepare a proper response. Farrow and Campbell's former agent Carole White are expected to testify about the diamond gift next week.
Taylor has been on trial at The Hague since 2008. He has pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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 truth – Bernard Gbayee Goah
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