S Africa police received Naomi`s diamonds on Thursday

Naomi Campbell had received a gift of "dirty-looking stones" in 1997.

Johannesburg: A trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children`s Fund has handed over to police diamonds he received from supermodel Naomi Campbell, following her testimony at a war crimes trial.

"They were handed over to the police and now they have been sent to the diamond board for authentication," said Musa Zondi, spokesman for the special investigations unit of the South African police.

"Obviously there has to be an investigation, but first we have to wait and get the diamonds authenticated before we can say anything," Zondi said.

"We have to get them authenticated because the authentication will tell us where they come from."

The trustee, Jeremy Ratcliffe, said he had kept the three small uncut diamonds since Campbell gave them to him in 1997.

Campbell on Thursday told a war crimes court in The Hague she had received a gift of "dirty-looking stones" she assumed were from then-Liberian president Charles Taylor after a 1997 dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela.

She said she gave the stones to Ratcliffe to "do something good with".

Taylor, Liberia`s president from 1997 to 2003, is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the 1991-2001 civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone that claimed some 120,000 lives.

Campbell was called as a witness by the prosecution, which claims the stones were blood diamonds mined illegally to raise money to buy arms.

Bureau Report

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