London: British supermodel Naomi Campbell, while testifying at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, said that that she gave alleged ‘blood diamonds’ to the head of Nelson Mandela`s children`s charity.
The catwalk queen was quizzed about claims made by actress Mia Farrow that Taylor gave the model an uncut diamond following a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.
Giving evidence at The Hague, Campbell admitted that she was given a few ‘dirty-looking pebbles’.
The model then claimed that she had given the uncut diamonds to Jeremy Ractliffe, the director of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the following day intending that he use them to help fund the charity’s projects.
A spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, set up by the former South African president in 1995, said that Campbell’s evidence was "of great concern".
"We don’t have any record of the diamonds. Mr Ractliffe is among our trustees so he would have indicated if such a thing existed. We have it on record, we have made a statement to say there’s no such record (of diamonds)," the Telegraph quoted Opua Ngwenya as saying.
Ractliffe refused to comment on Campbell’s claims, saying "The matter is sub judice so I am not saying anything."
Asked about the fund’s statement that it never received the diamonds or money from their sale, he replied: "The fund is correct."
Campbell arrived at the courthouse in The Hague surrounded by police escorts.
Taylor, 62, is accused of trading in ‘blood diamonds’ to fund a brutal and bloody war carried out by rebels in Liberia’s neighbouring Sierra Leone.