Charles Taylor, the 22nd President of Liberia, is caught in a scandal that is worthy of a Hollywood Blockbuster movie plot. The former president is believed to have ties with the rebel group, Revolutionary United Front, during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
Currently he faces an international tribunal accusing him of involvement in a diamond for arms smuggling scheme. Prosecutors claim that he accepted mayonnaise jars stuffed with rough blood diamonds that were unearthed by the rebel forces and their captives in Sierra Leone. He traded these diamonds for illegal black market weapons and arms smuggled back into Liberia to the rebels.
He is even said to have dealt in arms trade with Viktor Bout, the infamous Russian arms smuggler that the Hollywood film Lord of War depicts, played by Nicolas Cage.
This story becomes more blockbuster-like as supermodel Naomi Campbell testified in her dealings with Taylor. There are witnesses to Campbell’s to being friendly and even flirting with Taylor during the famous Dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in 1997, where the Campbell and Taylor first met.
Miss Campbell testified that two unknown men came to her room after the dinner and passed on to her a small pouch of “dirty-looking stones”. She reported that she gave the pouch to Jeremy Ractliffe, the head of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the next morning.
Campbell’s testimony is only part a small list of evidenced condemning Taylor and a verdict is expected to be reached by the year’s end.