Naomi Wants Spy-Level Secrecy to Give Evidence before War Crimes Trial

Daily Mail (London), August 2, 2010 | Go to article overview

Naomi Wants Spy-Level Secrecy to Give Evidence before War Crimes Trial


Byline: From Daniel Bates in New York

SHE is one of the most famous and photographed people in the world.

So there was some surprise when it emerged that Naomi Campbell has applied for witness protection measures banning coverage surrounding her testimony before war crimes prosecutors this week.

The supermodel is to appear in a court in The Hague to answer questions about whether she was given a 'blood diamond' by former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor.

Prosecutors believe her evidence could be relevant to Taylor's trial for war crimes during the 1990s civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone in which tens of thousands died.

He faces 11 charges relating to backing rebels in Sierra Leone, all of which he denies, including using child soldiers as young as ten to carry out massacres, murder and rape.

But for Miss Campbell's appearance at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in the Netherlands, her legal team have asked that she be given 'protective measures'. These could include a blanket ban on the disclosure of any information relating to the 40-year-old's appearance, except what is revealed in public testimony, and a ban on the media filming or following her.

Such measures are usually reserved for those whose identity cannot be revealed for reasons of national security. So far the Special Court for Sierra Leone has granted them to a number of witnesses against Taylor who feared being attacked by his allies if their identities were made public. …

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