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Naomi Campbell will appear at war crimes trial of Charles Taylor

By the CNN Wire Staff
Supermodel Naomi Campbell is being compelled to testify about how she obtained a "blood diamond."
Supermodel Naomi Campbell is being compelled to testify about how she obtained a "blood diamond."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Supermodel agrees to appear as a witness at war crimes trial of former Liberian president
  • Prosecutors say Campbell was given a "blood diamond" by Taylor in 1997
  • Campbell, who "is not being accused of any wrongdoing," had previously refused to testify
  • The case was reopened to include Campbell's testimony
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(CNN) -- British supermodel Naomi Campbell will appear before the war crimes tribunal of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, according to a statement from her representative.

She's been called as "a witness" and "is not being accused of any wrongdoing and is not on trial," the statement says.

Campbell had previously said she did not want to be involved in the war crimes trial at The Hague, Netherlands. But on July 1, the court issued a subpoena ordering her appearance. Campbell faced a prison term of up to seven years, a fine of about $500, or both, if she failed to appear.

Taylor 62, faces war crimes charges over a brutal conflict in Sierra Leone that was fueled by rough diamonds that also known as blood diamonds or conflict diamonds.

Prosecutors had rested their case in February 2009. They asked to reopen it specifically to call Campbell, as well as actress Mia Farrow and a witness named Carole Taylor, court papers show. Prosecutors said they learned in June 2009 that Taylor had given the supermodel a diamond in South Africa in 1997. Farrow confirmed it, they said.

When arguing to reopen the case, prosecutors said Campbell's testimony would prove that the former president "used rough diamonds for personal enrichment and arms purchases," according to papers filed with the U.N.-backed court.

Taylor, 62, was president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003. The war crimes charges against him stem from the widespread murder, rape and mutilation that occurred during the bloody civil war in Sierra Leone. It was fought largely by teenagers who were forced to kill, given addictive drugs to provoke violent behavior, and often instructed to rape and plunder.

Taylor is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual slavery and violence, and enslavement. He also faces five counts of war crimes, including acts of terrorism and torture, and one count of other serious violations of international humanitarian law.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.