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Court grants Naomi Campbell postponement in war crimes trial testimony

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Supermodel Naomi Campbell requested the delay in testimony from July 29 to August 5
  • Witnesses say former Liberian President Charles Taylor gave Campbell a diamond
  • Taylor faces war crimes charges for a war fueled by so-called blood diamonds

(CNN) -- Judges have approved British supermodel Naomi Campbell's request to postpone her testimony at the "blood diamonds" war crimes trial for a former Liberian president, court officials said Monday.

Campbell was scheduled to appear July 29 at the trial in The Hague, Netherlands, but will now appear on August 5 instead.

Campbell did not want to be involved in the trial but was subpoenaed on July 1 to appear at the tribunal for Charles Taylor, who faces war crimes charges over a brutal conflict in Sierra Leone that was fueled by rough diamonds, also known as blood diamonds or conflict diamonds.

Witnesses have said Taylor gave Campbell a diamond.

Prosecutors had rested their case against Taylor 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.

Video: Campbell 'blood diamond' tantrum

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.