naomi campbell red lips black dress met gala

Naomi Campbell may not have to testify at blood diamond trail. Photo: John P Iblis/jpistudios.com

If former Liberian President Charles Taylor's lawyers have their way, Naomi Campbell may just get a late 40th birthday present.

Taylor's legal team tried to block prosecutors' requests to have the controversial supermodel testify at his war crimes trial yesterday at The Hague in the Netherlands, branding the move as "a publicity stunt," the AP reported.

Campbell -- who allegedly was given a blood diamond by Taylor in 1997 -- has made it clear she wants no part of the warlord's trial. She told Oprah Winfrey last month that she fears for her family and did not answer direct questions about whether she received the tainted rock.

Her lawyers made similar statements expressing concern for Campbell's safety when prosecutors sought a subpoena demanding her testimony.

Actress Mia Farrow is one of two witnesses who have presented written statements to the international court declaring that during a 1997 visit to Nelson Mandela's home in South Africa, Campbell said she was woken up by men who "presented her with a large diamond they said was a gift from Taylor."

Prosecutors claim Campbell's testimony is essential to proving their case that Taylor traded in rough "blood diamonds" to finance rebels in Sierra Leone's horrific 11-year civil war.

Taylor is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery, and the use of child soldiers -- who were allegedly drugged to desensitize them -- in a war that claimed more than 500,000 victims.

"For the prosecution to present such inferential evidence at this advanced stage, as part of an obvious publicity stunt, would bring the administration of justice into serious disrepute," Taylor's lawyers wrote to judges of the effort to call Campbell as a witness.

Prosecutors have countered that Campbell's testimony would provide "direct evidence of the accused's possession of rough diamonds from a witness unrelated to the Liberian or Sierra Leone conflicts."

No word on when the judges will rule on the defense request to quash the subpoena.

Campbell, meanwhile, has had some time to relax amidst all this international intrigue. She just rang in the big Four-O at a star-studded celebration in the French Riviera financed by her still-married Russian billionaire boyfriend, Vladimir Doronin.

Meanwhile, StyleList hears the high-strung Campbell may be studying the Kabbalah to get more centered stop hurling phones in her middle age.