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Black Panther, Bloody Diamond and a Cannibal's Bounty
August 7, 2010 18:30

Naomi Campbell (edited In Prisma)

On August 5th, the International Criminal Court in The Hague saw the most beautiful witness in its entire history. British supermodel Naomi Campbell paid a visit to this institution. A girlfriend of a Russian businessman testified in the case of one of the most outspoken politicians of our time, the former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

It would seem that there is nothing in common between the queen of the catwalk and the dictator who, among other things, is accused of cannibalism. It turns out, there is a connection here. In 1997, Campbell along with Taylor attended a luncheon with the former South African President Nelson Mandela. The President of Liberia has gifted the beauty with a huge, expensive diamond, which evil tongues called “bloody,” given the bloody deeds of Taylor.

Talks about the gift have been continuing for the last few years, but they intensified this year, when The Hague Court expressed interest in the jewel. Meticulous journalists immediately began tormenting the supermodel with tough questions. In April, the relevant issue was raised at U.S. television channel ABC. Campbell denied receiving a gift, but it was obvious that she was irritated by the fact that the issue was raised again; otherwise she would not have hit a camera.

However, she was not able to cover up the unpleasant incident. First, the former president of Liberia mentioned the gift during his testimony in court. Second, the actress Mia Farrow, who was also present at the dinner with Mandela, tattled on Campbell. According to her, Naomi wanted to sell the diamond and send the money to charity. Yet, the Mandel Foundation which was to receive the diamond said that it was never received. Consequently , the supermodel still has the jewel.


Young Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor at the end of 80's
On May 20, things took an unpleasant turn for the star of the catwalk. It became evident that she could be called to appear in front of The Hague tribunal. In June, she was summoned. She was putting off her Holland visit as long as she could. “"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," said the model when she learned about the subpoena. However, on August 5 she still had to testify about one of the most unpleasant stories of her life.

Realizing that the appearance in The Hague was unavoidable, Naomi has done everything to make sure she was heard and seen by as few people as possible. She requested that there were no television operators and photographers in the courtroom. ”No individuals can take pictures or shoot video of Miss Campbell at the entrance and exit of the courthouse, as well as inside the building itself,” says the court order.

Admittedly, Campbell did not have it easy. She had to talk about meeting a man who is charged with cannibalism, brutal murder of political opponents, illegal trade of arms and diamonds. In the 1970s the African continent gave the world a great deal of cannibals like Ugandan Idi Amin or Emperor of the Central African Republic Bokassa. But by the end of the twentieth century, Liberian Charles Taylor was the only one who had this dubious hobby.

However, there are plenty of other things besides cannibalism that bring this character to court. Back in the early 1980s, when Taylor was just a minister in the government of Samuel Doe, a criminal case was initiated against him in connection with the purchase of cars for the astronomical by African standards amount of 922,000 dollars. He escaped prison by first fleeing to the U.S., and then Libya.

In 1989, Taylor somehow managed to convince the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to give him money for organizing a coup. At the end of that year, the current Hague prisoner began an armed struggle with the Doe Government. The civil war started by him was particularly violent. For example, the entire area surrounding the airport of the capital Monrovia, Liberia, was covered with bones. They say that Taylor made his subordinate eat their enemies.

The war finally ended in 1997, and Taylor came to power. Atrocities in Liberia were not enough for him, and he intervened in the war in the neighboring Sierra Leone. Here the story with the diamond has surfaced. Presumably, the diamond was given to the Liberian dictator by Sierra Leonean rebels as payment for the supply of weapons. He then re - gifted the diamond to the supermodel.

Rumors about Taylor’s behavior spread throughout the world, and the Hague court took interest in his activities. In 2003, Taylor was overthrown and fled to Nigeria, but three years later he was extradited to The Hague. There he was charged with cannibalism, murder, terrorist activities, and diamonds trading.

Street execution in Liberia, 1996

It is easy to understand Naomi Campbell, who obviously did not want to meet this man-eater again in the courtroom. But the truthful testimony could clearly improve the supermodel’s image that was strongly damaged by the “bloody” diamond.




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