Naomi Campbell's ex-agent lied to court: Taylor's lawyer
Naomi Campbell's former agent's claims that the supermodel received a gift of illegal diamonds from Charles Taylor were lies, a lawyer for the Liberian ex-president told a war crimes court Tuesday.
"Your account is a complete pack of lies," defence lawyer Courtenay Griffiths told model agent Carole White, challenging her testimony before the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague.
"You've made it up to assist in your lawsuit (for breach of contract) against Ms Campbell. Bluntly, for you this is all about money."
On Monday, White told judges trying Taylor for war crimes that he had sent a gift of diamonds to Campbell after a charity dinner hosted by then South African president Nelson Mandela in Pretoria in September 1997.
She said she was present when Taylor and the supermodel "flirted" over dinner and he promised her a gift of diamonds, as well as for the delivery by two men later that night.
Campbell conceded to the court last Thursday that two men brought a pouch containing two or three "dirty-looking stones" to her bedroom in a guesthouse that night.
But she insisted she did not know who has sent her the gift, though she "assumed" it was from Taylor. The model said White was not present.
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 stands 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.
© 2010 AFP