Who Is On Trial – Naomi Or Taylor?

The undeniably archaic international court in Hague have disgracefully allowed two publicity-seeking old women, turn what is already little more than a farcical show trial of a former warlord, into a public lynching of an innocent young successful black British woman.

Naomi Campbell is not a saint, but then who is? Her famous tantrums and drug use were well publicised by a relentlessly hostile London press. From all indications however, all of that is in her past now. She even did community sentence for some of her misdeeds but, from the media she is getting from this Charles Taylor diamond trial, it is difficult to determine if she is being persecuted for her past, or the British press have simply been handed another Naomi-bashing opportunity.

Naomi has not done anything wrong, more than finding herself in the company of celebrity guerrillas and politicians. Not to talk of backstabbing disgruntled old women. She did not steal diamonds. Listening to the court proceedings though, you would think she had robbed a jeweller. She did not ask for the diamonds. When she was given them, she told practically everybody within a hundred miles of her. What is more, she donated the diamonds immediately (not as an afterthought as recently being alleged but disproved) to charity. What else could a young black woman do to pacify a biased press?

Now two women, one of who is bitter because Naomi chose to stop being her easy meal ticket (Carol White, now sacked, earned, when the going was good, up to £.5m million a year as Naomi’s agent); the other, Mia Farrow, an actress known more for her marital problems and domestic tragedies than for her thespian skills, are exploiting Naomi’s fame and the global stage of the world court—the one to assist her monetary claim on Naomi, the other to revive a waning career. Looking at both, you could see how they relished the free global publicity of the international court.

What if Naomi flirted with Taylor at the dinner table? How does that prove Taylor sent diamonds to Sierra Leone? How does Naomi sitting beside him prove Taylor gave orders for children to be conscripted and women to be killed? At that rate, they should invite Gracha and Nelson Mandela that invited Taylor to dinner in the first place, to testify. But nobody would dare. Naomi is the easy touch.
Well, if free publicity is what everybody wanted, they got it. At Naomi’ s expense. Said Reuters yesterday, “The trial, which has been running for three years, attracted little international attention until Campbell appeared”

The big question is, how did a trial, supposedly to establish the culpability of a rebel warlord, in financing a murderous war and genocide, turn into the joke it is now? I suspect the answer is that, at the end of the day Charles Taylor is not guilty of anything that George Bush, Barrack Obama, Bill Clinton, Medvedev, Putin, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, even our own Olusegun Obasanjo, is not guilty of.

olaitanladipo@aol.com

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