Supermodel Campbell defends war crimes testimony

Aug 11th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

On Monday, Griffiths also sought to discredit Farrow.

“Mia Farrow sees herself as the modern-day Mother Teresa to Africa,” he told a press conference. “She does not have an open mind so far as Charles Taylor is concerned. She is looking for sainthood.”

Giving testimony last week, Campbell conceded that two men brought a pouch containing two or three “dirty-looking stones” to her bedroom at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.

She said she did not know who the gift came from, but “assumed” it was from Taylor. The model said she donated the diamonds to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund the following day.

Prosecutors are trying to link the gift to Taylor, whom they accuse of having taken a consignment of uncut diamonds to South Africa “to sell… or exchange them for weapons” for Sierra Leone rebels.

Taylor, 62, is on trial for his alleged role in the 1991-2001 Sierra Leone civil war that claimed some 120,000 lives.

He is accused of receiving illegally mined “blood diamonds” for arming rebels who murdered, raped and maimed Sierra Leone civilians, amputating their limbs and carving initials on their bodies.

In Tuesday’s statement, Campbell conceded that telling judges it was a “big inconvenience” that she had been forced to give evidence had been a “poor choice” of words.

“Campbell accepts the use of the word ?inconvenient? was a poor choice of word but it was made off the cuff and was taken massively out of context,” said the statement from her media representatives, the Outside Organisation.

“It was in relation to a nonsensical question as to whether or not she was nervous appearing in court.

“Campbell had explained that she had fears for her family having read about Taylor?s alleged crimes on the Internet, hence her initial reticence in appearing.”

The statement added: “The suggestion that Campbell in some way doesn?t care about the plight of those suffering in Africa is ridiculous and hurtful.”

© 2010 AFP

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