If you think the international criminal case against Charles Taylor is a slam dunk, think again. The prosecutors in the International Criminal Court — in Holland’s Hague — apparently are in such desperate straits that they need to call on the assistance of the notoriously generous super-model Naomi Campbell.
No kidding. Campbell’s legal street-smarts seems essential to the case against Taylor. After spending tens of millions of dollars on capturing, incarcerating and compiling an air-tight case against the deposed Liberian dictator, the forces of good in African affairs now seem to be placing their bets partly, if not wholly, on the sworn testimony of a British beauty best known for her baroque temper tantrums.
The only development more unlikely than Naomi Campbell influencing the course of human-rights law is Naomi Campbell visiting Malawi in the company of Madonna for the purposes of adoping a baby!
Perhaps Campbell won’t drill a large hole in Taylor’s defense against claims he trafficked in conflict diamonds. Perhaps she will not recall that she received a big rock from the celebrity-seeking Liberian leader in 1997 when, according to reports, she apparently did — and at a “charity dinner” at the home of Nelson Mandela no less.
Let’s hope that on July 29, when the super-model is scheduled to testify, she will stun the court, not only with her striking looks but also with her penetrating memory of the receipt of a gift from a Taylor aide. Perhaps she’ll also tell the court, for curiosity’s sake, what Mandela himself was doing when Campbell got her early Christmas present.