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Campbell May Face Charges Over Blood Diamonds

Possession of uncut diamonds criminal offense in S. Africa
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2010 5:57 AM CDT
Campbell May Face Charges Over Blood Diamonds
In this May 20, 2010 file photo, British model Naomi Campbell arrives for the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS benefit, during the 63rd Cannes international film festival, in Cap d'Antibes, France.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

(Newser) – After testimony from Mia Farrow and a former agent showed Naomi Campbell did knowingly receive blood diamonds from Liberian strongman Charles Taylor, the model could face criminal charges in South Africa, where she was given the diamonds. Possession of an uncut diamond is a criminal offense in South Africa, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The prosecution in Taylor's war crimes trial says he was there to trade diamonds for arms when he met the Campbell in 1997.

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Campbell testified that she immediately handed over the diamonds to Jeremy Ratcliffe, then the head of Nelson Mandela's Children's Fund, telling him to use them to do something good for children. Ratcliffe has since admitted that he hid the diamonds in a safe because he suspected they were illegal and wanted to protect the reputations of Campbell and Mandela, the Telegraph reports.
(Read more Naomi Campbell stories.)

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