Afairly damning indictment that Charles Taylor's trial for war crimes only gets attention due to some thick model with a propensity for physical violence towards maids. It's crazy that she managed to get a court order banning photographs entering/leaving the court in The Hague. Such a pity that her testimony is being televised. Taylor is a real piece of work.
<SONG>Naomi Campbell tells Taylor trial of 'dirty stones'</SONG>
Model Naomi Campbell says she was given "dirty-looking" stones after a dinner attended by ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor which she was later told were likely to be diamonds.
She was testifying at Mr Taylor's war crimes trial about allegations he gave her "blood diamonds" as a gift in 1997.
Prosecutors had said her evidence could help link Mr Taylor to the stones, which he is accused of using to fund civil war in Sierra Leone.
Mr Taylor denies the charges.
He says he never sold or traded diamonds for weapons.
Ms Campbell, who was late appearing in the courtroom, swore on a Bible before beginning her testimony.
Ms Campbell said she was given two or three unprocessed stones after a celebrity dinner in South Africa, hosted by former South African President Nelson Mandela and attended by US actress Mia Farrow and others, including Mr Taylor.
Before meeting him, she had not heard of Mr Taylor or of Liberia.
She said she was sleeping in her room 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, 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 at the time, she was not aware of any laws on unprocessed diamonds.
She gave the stones to Jeremy Ratcliffe of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund because she wanted them to go to charity, and said when she spoke to Mr Ratcliffe on the telephone in 2009, he said he still had them.
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. It would have been improper and illegal to have done so."
Ms Campbell told the defence lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, she did not sit next to Mr Taylor at the dinner party, contrary to a statement given by her former agent Carole White.
In her statement to the court, Ms White said Miss Campbell and Mr Taylor were mildly flirtatious with each other throughout the dinner.
Mr Griffiths said: "The witness (Ms White) heard Mr Taylor tell Miss Campbell that he was going to send her diamonds. Taylor and his people were staying some distance away, so it was arranged that he would send some men back with the gift. Is that true or false?"
"That's not true at all," Ms Campbell said.
Mr Griffiths said that Ms White said Ms Campbell was excited by the idea of getting diamonds from Mr Taylor, but Ms Campbell denied this.
Ms White and Ms Campbell are involved in a legal dispute, Mr Griffiths said. "This is a woman who has a power motive to lie about you?" he asked. "Correct," Ms Campbell answered.
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.