The Super model who moonlights as a cell phone thrower came face to face with the Liberian President (Charles Taylor) accused of funding a barbaric civil war in Sierra Leone. They met today in a Netherlands courtroom where Charles Taylor is being tried for war crimes. The makings of this fateful court room meeting was set in motion in September 1997 when Charles Taylor and Naomi Campbell were both guests at an event hosted by Nelson Mandela.
According to claims laid by the actress Mia Farrow, Naomi confessed to receiving a pouch with ‘small, dirty –looking pebbles’ from agents of Charles Taylor. These ‘dirty-looking pebbles’ were in fact uncut diamonds. Prosecutors of Charles Taylor were hoping Naomi’s testimony would supply the evidence they needed to prove that Taylor traded guns to Sierra Leone in exchange for ‘blood diamonds’. Though it is doubtful that Naomi’s appearance and testimony provided any legal gains to the Prosecutors, her appearance brought some well-needed attention to the trial of a man who has caused so much strife and grief to the West African Region.
Who is Charles Taylor?
“Charles Taylor was born in 1948 to a family of Americo-Liberians, the elite group that grew out of the freed slaves who founded the country in the 19th Century. Like many Americo-Liberians he studied in the United States. He returned home shortly after Sergeant Samuel Doe mounted Liberia’s first successful coup d’etat in 1980.
Taylor landed a plum job in Doe’s regime running the General Services Agency, a position that meant controlling much of Liberia’s budget. He later fell out with Doe, who accused him of embezzling almost $1m. Taylor denied the charges, but ended up in the Plymouth County House of Correction in Massachusetts, detained under a Liberian extradition warrant. He was able to escape from jail and in 1989 he launched a successful rebellion against Samuel Doe.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/afica/2963086
After winning power militarily, in 1997, he was elected President of Liberia. The period between 1989 when he first took over power, and August 2003 when he stepped down, has been viewed as the ‘Reign of Terror’ by many Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and even Ivorians. He is accused of being a distablizing force in the West African region, a gun runner, and a diamond smuggler who committed mass murders and turned children into AK-47 toting soldiers. It is for these reasons that he is being tried for international war crimes in Leidschendam Netherlands.
Who is Naomi Campbell?
She is a model who used to see diamonds as a girl’s bestfriend. However today, they are her ‘dirty-looking’ nemesis that have dragged her to court, and focused the lens of the global media to a trial that we should all have been paying attention to anyway.