The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

Your Honour, note that when she was asked did you receive a diamond, she said I did not receive a diamond. So her - she wasn't prepared, she wasn't under oath but her initial reaction was to simply deny it, because she explained in court she feared for her family because of Charles Taylor. We had many witnesses come before your Honours and testify, and your Honours saw their demeanour. I submit to you that Naomi Campbell, despite being someone who has been in the public eye her entire adult life was the most obviously nervous witness that testified in this trial. She continually interrupt the questions before they were asked and she was obviously nervous because she didn't want to tell the whole truth about getting the diamonds from Charles Taylor.

The thing I thought was the most revealing in her testimony was that she was asked why - she kept saying she assumed the diamonds were from Taylor and she claimed it was because others told her that, Mia Farrow or Carole White. She testified then about that a couple of times and Justice Lussick at one time asked a question, Well, why did you assume that? And then he asked her why did you think about other people at the dinner table? And she never said - she said she didn't think about anybody else at the dinner table. She never thought about anybody else but what her story is, that two men knock at her door in the morning, in the middle of the night, and say, a gift for you and hand her a pouch with dirty stones in it. A little pouch. Well, if someone comes up to you and hands you something and says a gift to you, you assume that the person that gave you the - handed it to you is the one that gave you the gift. That would be the logical assumption. But Naomi Campbell never considered, never considered, that the gift came from the man that handed it to her. Why? Because she knew that that was a messenger because Carole White told the truth, because Charles Taylor had told her, I'm sending men with diamonds. It was all arranged. That's why she didn't consider for a second that the gift was given to her by the men that handed her the pouch.

I'd like to look for a second at D-301. It's a Defence exhibit. One of the things while that's coming up, one of the things interesting also about this trip is that Charles Taylor testified that while he was in South Africa, not when he got to Libya but while he was in South Africa on this trip he received a half a million dollars from the Libyan government. He said he was going there for a medical checkup and he said it was cash, he received a half a million dollars cash from the Libyan government on this trip where we think the evidence is clear he's carrying a large quantity of rough diamonds.

If we go on this to page 154, this was a document admitted by the Defence, it was a book written by Herman Cohen, who I believe is a former United States assistant secretary of state for African affairs and who - it was after his government service - was hired as a lobbyist by Charles Taylor and received $100,000 or so for his lobbying activities and looking, when that comes up -- I'll read this, your Honour. On that page, at the end of the first full paragraph where he's - Mr Cohen is discussing a trip he made to Africa in September 1990, he says this, he says:

"At an overnight stop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, we actually saw Libyan cargo aircraft on the airport runway. The embassy confirmed that the arms for the NPFL had arrived in those planes."

So even back in 1990, this route of arms arranged by Charles Taylor from Libya through Burkina Faso, it had existed even back in 1990 and that was exactly what he was doing on this trip in 1997 when he went to South Africa en route to Burkina Faso and - Libya and Burkina Faso.

I want to move on and talk about Issa Sesay's testimony about diamonds.

Now, Issa Sesay was a witness and I'll come to this in a little bit later, who clearly came here to lie for Charles Taylor and to lie to protect himself. And he came up with various stories like for the first time he suddenly came up with this story that ammunition for the December 1998 offensive was purchased in Lofa County, that Bockarie didn't come back with ammunition from Burkina Faso, despite all the witnesses that said so previously. So this was very helpful to Charles Taylor because it's absolutely obvious that if a plane lands at Roberts International Airport in Liberia and large amounts of ammunition are trucked across the country, it couldn't be done without the knowledge of the President of Liberia. It also became even more obvious when Charles Taylor in his testimony when he was talking about how he slipped a bit in his testimony and talked about how he was able to bribe foreign officials to get weapons, said that the person who did that for him was Musa Cisse and Musa Cisse is the man he sent with Charles Taylor to Burkina Faso on that trip in November 1998, clearly to arrange the arms shipment.

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