The Taylor Trial: A Model for International Justice?

The arrival of Naomi Campbell to give evidence at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor in The Hague this month sounded like something from a movie script. Prosecutors announced that their key witness to prove Taylor was in possession of Blood Diamonds looted from Sierra Leone was an international fashion model who, they alleged, had been given some of the diamonds when the two met at a party thrown by Nelson Mandela.

Diamonds are at the centre of this, the first war crimes trial of an African leader, because prosecutors assert that Taylor supported Sierra Leone's rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in return for shipments of plundered gems.

(The complete article by author Chris Stephen is available on the Crimes of War Project web site).