Campbell wins right to privacy in diamond trial
Pouring fresh intrigue on to what is already shaping up to be one of the most remarkable legal cases of recent times, involving a supermodel, a former warlord and a blood diamond, a court focusing on war crimes in Sierra Leone has granted Naomi Campbell "protective measures" ahead of her appearance at the Hague to give evidence in the case against the former rebel leader, Charles Taylor.
In an unusual move usually preserved for witnesses who fear for their safety, the Special Court for Sierra Leone granted Campbell the right for a lawyer to be present in court to ensure that she did not give any evidence that might incriminate her.
The court, presided over by Justice Julia Sebutinde, said the lawyer would have "limited right to be heard solely on the admissibility of any questions put to Campbell which go to possible self-incrimination".
The court also ordered officials to ensure "no person shall photograph, or video record Campbell while entering the Tribunal building, exiting from the Tribunal building, or while she is in the Tribunal building, without leave of the Trial Chamber or Campbell".
A spokesman for the Special Court in the Hague, where Campbell is due to give evidence tomorrow, could not say definitively if this would prevent the model from being photographed by journalists standing outside the court.
A request that such restrictions be extended to her transit to and from court within Holland was turned down on the grounds it was outside the court's jurisdiction.
Campbell's testimony, however, will be recorded as usual by courtroom cameras, but members of the public, media or staff inside the court are also forbidden from revealing any details of her appearance apart from what she says in her public testimony while she takes the stand.
Campbell was issued with a subpoena to attend the trial after actress Mia Farrow and the model's former agent, Carole White, said she received a rough diamond from Taylor after a glittering charity party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.
According to Farrow, the British model came down to breakfast the next morning and told the table of an "unforgettable story" about being woken up by aides to the Liberian leader who came to her hotel room bearing a glinting gift from their boss.
"You don't forget when a girlfriend tells you that she was given a huge diamond in the middle of the night," the American actress told ABC News.
Mr Taylor, 62, is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, over his alleged involvement in the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone, including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.
He is accused of arming and controlling Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel force responsible for widespread atrocities.
Prosecutors say Mr Taylor's alleged possession of rough diamonds is a "central issue" in the case against him, and supports allegations he was given the stones by the RUF to buy weapons for them.
Campbell was granted the legal "protective measures" – which are usually reserved for witnesses at risk of revenge attacks – to "protect her privacy and security".
Earlier this week, lawyers defending Mr Taylor filed an urgent motion in an attempt to delay Campbell giving evidence.
The former leader's defence filed the motion because they had not been provided with a summary of Campbell's testimony ahead of her appearance in court, according to a spokesman for the Special Court of Sierra Leone.
Latest in News
From the blogs
Dr Ron Schultz, professor and chair of pathological sciences at The University of Wisconsin, joined ...
What a wonderful way to end this momentous series in the 50th year of Doctor Who. From the start of ...
The UK Independence Party is on 19 per cent, the highest share recorded by any pollster, in a ComRes...
I know Dan Lepard nabbed it first for his wonderful book on baking but I’m eternally jealous, as it ...
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
Justin Bieber's unfinished monkey business
World news in pictures
David Cameron goes to war with newspapers over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
- 2 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 David Cameron goes to war with newspapers over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£350 - £500 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Project Manager - Public Sector ...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: HR Manager Independe...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Huxley Associates: INTERIM HR MANAGER - ...