Thursday, 12 August 2010

Extracted Truths

Proving that Mr Taylor, the former president of Liberia, travelled to South Africa thirteen year ago in possession of one (according to Mia Farrow), three (Naomi) or five (Naomi’s agent) rough diamonds won't definitively prove the case for the prosecution anyway.
They have already called about 90 witnesses, including about 30 so-called “insider witnesses”, those who could testify to being with Mr Taylor when he was arranging his deals with the RUF Sierra Leone rebels who procured the diamonds for him. It is the cumulative weight of this sort of evidence that is more likely to clinch a case against Mr Taylor, rather than the scrappy and often contradictory stories of a handful of celebs.

Already there is a lot of disquiet, anger even, in Africa at the length and cost of the Taylor trial. The current circus will do nothing to assuage a feeling in dirt-poor Sierra Leone and Liberia that Mr Taylor and all the highly paid lawyers are merrily wasting millions of dollars dragging out a case that should have been over many months ago. When I was at The Hague last year, the lawyers were hoping to be back at their day jobs by March of this year. Now August has come round again and still there is no end in sight. It would be far better for the course and cause of international justice for everyone to be debating whether there might be a better way to conduct these sorts of trials rather than whether Naomi really did flirt with Charlie at Nelson’s dinner table.
From The Economist Blog, African Baobab.

....two corrections I'd make is that a. Naomi Campbell said six, Jeremy Ratcliffe said three 'dirty-looking stones' and b. she's a model wiv attitude not a 'stroppy model', this is Ms Campbell. 

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