Mia Farrow, Carole White testify in Charles Taylor's war crimes trial

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Farrow appeared in a UN-backed court at The Hague to testify in a war crimes trial against Taylor.
Image: hdptcar on Flickr.

Actress Mia Farrow and Carole White have testified in former-Liberian president Charles Taylor's war crimes trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Farrow and White's testimonies contradict supermodel Naomi Campbell's testimony from last week.

White said Campbell was "mildly flirtatious" with Taylor at a dinner in South Africa in 1997. Taylor, she alleged, told Campbell he would send her diamonds. White continued to say Campbell communicated with Taylor and awaited the diamond. Campbell was "very excited" about the diamonds according to White.

"[Taylor's men] came in and they sat down in the lounge and we sat opposite them... they then took out a quite scruffy paper and they handed it to Miss Campbell and said 'these are the diamonds.'"

Farrow claimed Campbell told her Taylor received diamonds in the middle of the night. She testified, "[Campbell] said that in the night she had been awakened, some men were knocking at the door, and they had been sent by Charles Taylor, and they had given her a huge diamond."

Last week in Campbell's testimony, she did not know who sent her diamonds, but testified her then-agent White told her who probably sent the diamonds. White and Farrow testified Campbell said the diamonds were from Taylor. She claims she gave the diamonds to Jeremy Ractliffe who gave them to police.

Police spokesperson Musa Zondi confirms Ractliffe had uncut diamonds. "Yes, they are real diamonds. We cannot tell whether they are 'blood diamonds' or not. That will be part of the investigation," Zondi said.

Taylor faces eleven counts for violating international law including, murder, rape, sexual slavery, enlistment of children under the age of fifteen, pillaging, enslavement, and "outrages upon personal dignity."

Taylor allegedly traded "blood diamonds" for weapons and supplying the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone with weapons during the civil war from 1991 to 2002. This war conscripted child soldiers, an international crime. The prosecutors for the Special Court say Taylor trained the rebels and had them rape, murder, mutilate, and decapitate the civilians of Sierra Leone. Over 100,000 people died in the Sierra Leonean civil war. Taylor plead not guilty to all charges.

Linking the blood diamonds, used to support the RUF, to Taylor is a high priority for the prosecution.


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