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Naomi's friend kept "dirty-looking stones"

Supermodel’s friend reacts to her testimony at the Hague yesterday.

Screen grab of Campbell's court appearance yesterday.

A FRIEND OF SUPERMODEL Naomi Campbell has admitted keeping the uncut diamonds given to him by the model in 1997 after she attended a dinner along with Nelson Mandela, Charles Taylor, and Mia Farrow.

Jeremy Ratcliffe, former head of Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, released a statement to the BBC concerning the controversial diamonds after the model testified at the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor yesterday.

Testifying about the diamonds at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in Holland yesterday, Campbell said she received a pouch containing “dirty-looking stones” at her hotel room in the middle of the night from two men who offered no explanation for the gift. She said she assumed it was from Charles Taylor, but she has no evidence of that.

The model also said she had been “inconvenienced” by her appearance at the trial, and feared for her safety, as she says in this clip:

Taylor, the former Liberian president, maintains he never dealt in blood diamonds – diamonds mined in regions controlled by militant who use sales money to buy weapons and fuel their conflict. Taylor is accused of using the illegal gems to provide weapons for Sierra Leona rebels up to two decades ago.

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Ratcliffe claims that Campbell gave him the stones and suggested they could be of use to the children’s charity, but he responded that he would not involve the organisation in anything that could be illegal.

He said he took the diamonds and decided not to report them in order to protect the reputations of Campbell, the charity, and Nelson Mandela. He said he has since handed them over to authorities.

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