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Naomi Campbell: I thought gift of blood diamonds were just dirty pebbles

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by babu M, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. babu M

    babu M JF-Expert Member

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    05.08.10

    NAOMI CAMPBELL today admitted accepting "dirty" diamonds from former African dictator Charles Taylor.
    The supermodel sensationally revealed she took the jewels - dubbed "blood diamonds" - after a 1997 charity dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa. But she said she did not realise they were valuable gems at the time.

    Instead she told a war crimes court she thought they were "dirty-looking pebbles". She was giving evidence at the trial in which Taylor is accused of using the diamonds to fund a civil war in Sierra Leone. The former president of Liberia also faces charges of murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers.

    Campbell initially refused to give evidence at the trial, which began in 2007, and had denied receiving anything from Taylor. But she was forced to appear after a subpoena was issued.

    In 90 minutes of electrifying testimony at The Hague, she said she was handed the "gift" after going to bed. She was spending the night at Mr Mandela's presidential home in Cape Town.

    Today she wore a cream skirt, top and cardigan, with an eye-shaped necklace, and arrived late for the hearing. The wait for her arrival prompted a rebuke from Justice Julia Sebutinde, who said: "I hope Ms Campbell is not being conveyed from her hotel. Where is she?"

    Minutes later she arrived and swore on the Bible that she would tell the truth. She appeared calm and told the court she was woken in the middle of the night by two men knocking on her door.

    They said, "Here's a gift for you", before handing her a pouch. Campbell, 40, told the hearing: "I saw a few stones in there. Very small, dirty-looking stones," she said. "There was no explanation, no note."

    She said she took the pouch from the men - who she later "assumed" were acting for Taylor - left it on her bedside table and went back to sleep. The model said she did not realise until the morning, when she was having breakfast with actress Mia Farrow and her former agent Carole White, that the stones were "probably" diamonds.

    She was then told the gems were from Taylor, who was among the guests at the charity dinner. "I didn't know anything about Charles Taylor," she said. "I'd never heard of him before, never heard of Liberia before, never heard the term blood diamonds' before, so I just assumed it was. I guess it was [him who gave me the diamonds]."

    Campbell said she did not speak to the two men. When asked why she had not asked them why they were bringing her gems in the night, she said: "I get gifts all the time. Sometimes in the middle of the night and without knowing who they are from. It is quite normal for me to receive gifts."

    She said she donated the diamonds to Jeremy Ratcliffe, head of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, and told him to "do something good with them". But the court was shown a letter from the charity denying that it had received the stones and saying it would have been illegal to have done so. Campbell claimed Mr Ratcliffe, now retired, still has the gems she gave him. "He still has them so they didn't benefit," she said.

    Her testimony is seen as crucial by the prosecution. One charge against Taylor is that he armed rebels in Sierra Leone in exchange for so-called blood diamonds. But so far there has been little evidence to link him to diamonds, other than one witness who claims to have seen the former warlord with a mayonnaise jar full of stones.

    Campbell's admission that she received the jewels was in contrast to previous comments. Earlier this year she told ABC News that she was not given any diamonds on that evening. But today the model said she denied receiving the gems as she was fearful of Taylor.

    She said: "This is someone, I read on the internet, killed thousands of people supposedly. And I didn't want my family in any danger in any way.

    "I did not really want to be here. I was made to be here. I want to get this over with and get on with my life. This is a big inconvenience for me."

    Under questioning, the supermodel was asked to identify the guests who attended the dinner in Cape Town on September 26, 1997, hosted by South Africa's then president Mr Mandela.The star-studded gathering included Taylor, Jemima and Imran Khan, Mr Mandela and his wife, music producer Quincy Jones and actress Farrow.

    Campbell denied flirting or speaking directly to Taylor during the dinner. She said she was not involved in any conversations at the dinner table about diamonds. The trial continues.


    SOURCE: EVENING STANDARD
     
  2. E

    Estmeed Reader Senior Member

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    Aug 5, 2010
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    (Setting: Kwenye hafla ya chakula cha jioni)

    Taylor: Watu wangu watakuja chumbani kwko kukuletea zawadi. Wakigonga mlango wafungulie:

    Naomi: Zawadi! Zawadi gani?

    Taylor: Usiulize..ona.

    Naomi: Diamonds are for ever!

    Huyo dada japo ana visa vya ukichaa kichaa, anawezaje kufungua mlango kwa watu ambao hawajui katika hoteli...tena huko Sout Afrika kwenye majambazi?
     
  3. B

    Bulesi JF-Expert Member

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    Huyu Naomi ni high priced prostitute also known as super-model!! Taylor sio kichaa asingeweza kumpa hizo almasi hivi hivi tu lazima kulikuwa na maelewano fulani.
     
  4. babu M

    babu M JF-Expert Member

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    Sisi ngozi nyeusi ufisadi huko kwenye damu.Huyu dada katengeneza pesa nyingi kwenye maonyesho ya mavazi na siku zote amekuwa na ma bfriends kama si mabilionea ni mamilionea,sasa ukiona mtu kama huyu anachukuwa zawadi ambayo anajua imechangia umaskini wa hali ya juu na watu wengine kupoteza maisha yao,ndiyo inaipa nguvu hile dhana 'miafrika ndiyo tulivyo'
     
  5. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    5 August 2010 Last updated at 11:38 ET
    Naomi Campbell tells Taylor trial of 'dirty stones'

    Campbell was given a few 'dirty-looking stones' in a pouch

    Model Naomi Campbell has testified that she was given some "dirty-looking stones" after a 1997 dinner attended by ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor.

    Speaking at Mr Taylor's war crimes trial in The Hague, she said late that night, two unidentified men appeared at her room and gave her the stones.
    However, she had no proof that the stones were diamonds or came from Mr Taylor, as a fellow guest suggested.
    Charles Taylor


    Linking him to illegal "blood diamonds" is key to the prosecution's case.
    Mr Taylor is accused of using illegally mined diamonds to secure weapons for Sierra Leone's RUF rebels during the 1991-2001 civil war - a charge he denies.

    Prosecutors say that from his seat of power in Liberia, Mr Taylor also trained and commanded the rebels.
    The rebels were notoriously brutal, frequently hacking off the hands and legs of civilians.

    Ms Campbell, who was late appearing in the courtroom, swore on a Bible before beginning her testimony.
    She said that in 1997 she had attended a charity dinner in South Africa hosted by Nelson Mandela at his presidential mansion in Pretoria.
    Celebrity dinner

    Other guests at the event included the actress Mia Farrow, Ms Campbell's former agent Carole White and Mr Taylor.
    At the scene

    Peter Biles BBC world affairs correspondent, The Hague



    The public gallery fell silent as Naomi Campbell was called into court as a witness for the prosecution.
    A delay lasting a few minutes led the presiding judge to ask, "Where is she?"

    Ms Campbell did eventually appear, wearing a cream dress and a sparkling necklace.
    Watching attentively from the back of the courtroom, behind the team of defence lawyers, was the accused - former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

    His gold ring flashed in the reflection of the overhead lights. But today, the man in the dock was largely a forgotten figure in court.
    He was not asked to speak, and the media were fixated on one person only - the British supermodel.

    It seems Naomi Campbell had an extraordinarily blase attitude when being handed gifts.
    Despite being woken by two strangers in the middle of the night, she had put the pouch alongside her bed, and did not examine it until she woke in the morning.


    Ms Campbell said she was sleeping in her room later that night when there was a knock at the door.
    "Two men were there and gave me a pouch and said: 'A gift for you'," she said.

    The men did not introduce themselves. She said she put the pouch next to her bed without looking inside it - something she claimed was not unusual since she frequently receives gifts from admirers, and went back to sleep.

    "I opened the pouch the next morning when I woke up... I saw a few stones in there, they were very small dirty-looking stones," she told the court. There was no explanation and no note, she said.
    "The next morning at breakfast I told Ms Farrow and [her former agent Carole White] what had happened, and one of the two said, 'That's obviously Charles Taylor', and I said, 'I guess that was'."

    She said that before meeting him, she had not heard of Mr Taylor or of Liberia, adding that she never saw him again and had never asked him whether he had been the source of the gift.
    Ms Campbell said that at the time she was not aware of any laws on unprocessed diamonds.

    Charity denial
    She said she gave the stones to Jeremy Ratcliffe of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund because she wanted them to go to charity, and that when she spoke to Mr Ratcliffe on the telephone in 2009, he said he still had them.
    Continue reading the main story “Start Quote

    I didn't really want to be here. I was made to be here... This is a big inconvenience for me”
    End Quote Naomi Campbell
    In a letter presented in court by the defence, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund said it had never received a diamond or diamonds from Ms Campbell or from anyone else, a denial a spokesman for the fund repeated on Thursday.

    "The point I need to communicate today, on behalf of the board of trustees, is that the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund is not in receipt or possession of a diamond," spokesman Oupa Ngwenya said.
    Allegations that the uncut gemstones were given to Ms Campbell emerged in a statement by Ms Farrow.

    So-called blood diamonds are stones mined in areas controlled by rebel armies, and used to fund their violence.
    Ms Campbell was a reluctant witness and was subpoenaed to appear by prosecutors or risk contempt of court charges.
    [​IMG]
    During her testimony, the prosecutor said Ms Campbell was answering questions before they were finished, and asked her if she was nervous.
    "No, well, I didn't really want to be here. I was made to be here," she answered. "So, obviously I'm just like wanting to get this over with and get on with my life. This is a big inconvenience for me."

    'Fear for family'
    She said she had previously denied having the stones as she feared for her family because Mr Taylor was "someone I read on the internet has killed thousands of people, supposedly".
    Supermodel Naomi Campbell

    Continue reading the main story
    • Born in London, UK, in 1970 of Caribbean and Chinese descent
    • Became one of the world's highest-paid models after being discovered as a schoolgirl
    • Appeared on the cover of Elle magazine aged 15
    • Has promoted top fashion brands and launched her own perfume line
    • In 2008, she was sentenced to 200 hours community service in the UK for assaulting two police officers on a plane at Heathrow Airport
    • In 2009, she settled a legal case with a former maid who accused the supermodel of assaulting her. Ms Campbell denied the claims.
    In April, she told ABC News in the US that she "never received a diamond" from Mr Taylor and did not want to talk about it.

    Later, she told US talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she did not want to be involved in Mr Taylor's case and feared for her safety if she were, although her management company later released a statement confirming she would attend "to help clarify events in 1997".

    The trial is in the defence phase, with only a few witnesses remaining to testify. The prosecution rested in February 2009 after calling 91 witnesses, but obtained special permission to re-open their case to present new evidence.

    Mr Taylor was arrested in 2006 and his trial at The Hague opened in 2007.
    Mr Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, at the UN-backed tribunal.
    Tens of thousands of people died in the interlinked conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
     
  6. Shadow

    Shadow JF-Expert Member

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    Duh! madikteta wanamambo...eti kwenye dinner wakawa wanaflirt ....
     
  7. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Mandela charity official 'received Campbell diamonds'

    Campbell: 'I saw a few dirty looking stones in the pouch'

    The former head of Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Jeremy Ractliffe, has said he did receive uncut diamonds from the model Naomi Campbell.
    Charles Taylor

    He issued a statement after her testimony at the war crimes trial of ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor.
    It is alleged she received the gems from Mr Taylor in 1997, which could link him to illegal "blood diamonds".
    Mr Ractliffe said he was happy to testify at The Hague and had now handed the stones over to the authorities.
    "Three small uncut diamonds were given to me by Naomi Campbell on the Blue Train on 26 September 1997," he said in a statement sent to the BBC.
    At the trial, Ms Campbell said she was given some "dirty-looking stones" after a 1997 charity dinner hosted by South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela where Mr Taylor was also a guest.
    She said two unidentified men appeared at her room and gave her the stones.
    She told the court she did not have proof they came from Mr Taylor and had given them to Mr Ractliffe because she wanted the stones to go to charity.
    "Naomi suggested they could be of some benefit to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) - but I told her I would not involve the NMCF in anything that could possibly be illegal," Mr Ractliffe said.
    The fund has repeatedly denied receiving any diamonds from Ms Campbell.
    Protecting reputations
    Mr Ractliffe, who is still a trustee of the fund, said he took the diamonds as he thought it might be illegal for her to take them out of the country.
    "In the end I decided I should just keep them," he said.
    Charles Taylor


    [​IMG]
    • 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
    "A factor that influenced me not to report the matter to anyone was to protect the reputation of the NMCF, Mr Mandela himself and Naomi Campbell, none of whom were benefiting in any way."
    Ms Campbell said at The Hague on Thursday that she spoke to Mr Ractliffe on the telephone in 2009, and he said he still had the stones.
    The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Johannesburg says given Ms Campbell's testimony it seems Mr Ractliffe handed over the gems to the South African authorities within the last year.
    Our reporter says it is possible that Mr Ractliffe and even Ms Campbell may have committed offences under South African law.
    The legal code stipulates that any person without a permit who finds a rough diamond must forthwith hand it in at a police station.
    Allegations that the uncut gemstones were given to Ms Campbell emerged in a statement by US actress Mia Farrow, who also attended the 1997 dinner.
    Ms Farrow and Ms Campbell's former agent former agent Carole White are due to appear before the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague on Monday.
    Mr Taylor is accused of using illegally mined diamonds to secure weapons for Sierra Leone's RUF rebels during the 1991-2001 civil war - a charge he denies.
    Prosecutors say that from his seat of power in Liberia, Mr Taylor also trained and commanded the rebels.
    The rebels were notoriously brutal, frequently hacking off the hands and legs of civilians.
     
  8. Masanilo

    Masanilo JF-Expert Member

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    Huyu dada mzushi sana! kwenye media zingine wanasema wala haikuwa hivyo Mzee Taylor alikaa naye mbali sana wala hakumtongoza. Umaarufu wake tu! Huyu si aliisha wahi kutoka na Tyson alipokuwa nazo?
     
  9. Utingo

    Utingo JF-Expert Member

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    Lakini pia kama nilivyosikia BBC jana jioni ameiambia court kuwa amelazimishwa na prosecutors kutestify. Yeye binafsi hakuwa tayari kutestify chochote kuhusu Taylor
     
  10. Zogwale

    Zogwale JF-Expert Member

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    Naomi ni Gold Digger! Highly priced prostitute and model. Ni lazima kulikuwa na maelewano fulani ya kumfanya afungue chumbe apokee diamonds. Kwa nini tu asiseme ni ujira wa mauzo yake ya mwili? Ushahidi tata huu. Ni lazima azirudishe maana hiyo Foundation haina evidence ya kupewa hizo Diamonds. Kweli marais tunao, wengine wanatoa sehemu ya mbuga kwa mashemeji wajenge hotel na kuwinda wanyama bure! Lo African Presidents, K zitawapunguzia sana heshima. Viva and Bravo Nelson Mandela, is the only president who demonstrated descence in his life. Ninakupenda Nelson.
     
  11. babu M

    babu M JF-Expert Member

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    Tarehe aliyopewa hizo Diamonds(1997),tarehe zilipokabidhiwa kwenye authorities(2009),tarehe kesi ilipoanza(2007) na NMCF kutotambua makabidhiano.Kuna mchezo umechezwa kumuokoa Naomi kwenye Kashfa.
     
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