Last updated: 18 august, 2010 - 12:41 GMT

Charles Taylor's Defence Lawyer

Liberian ex-warlord Charles Taylor's lawyer Courtenay Griffiths speaks outside the special court for Sierra Leone. Photo credit ANOEK DE GROOT/AFP/Getty Images

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Courtenay Griffiths QC is a successful defence lawyer. He usually appears in courts in England and Wales, but he is currently defending the former Liberian President Charles Taylor at his war crimes trial in the Hague.

Courtenay Griffiths's forensic cross examination of the supermodel Naomi Campbell and her former agent Carole White over an alleged gift of blood diamonds from Charles Taylor made headlines around the world.

During his 30 year career as a barrister, Courtenay Griffiths has defended many high profile and controversial figures, from members of the IRA to one of the youths wrongly accused of killing Damilola Taylor, a young black boy who died on a housing estate in London in 2000.

So what makes this successful defence lawyer tick?

Courtenay comes from a large family. He is the second youngest of eight brothers and one sister. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and then the whole family emigrated to the UK in 1961, when Courtenay was five years old.

Matthew Bannister spoke to him from the Hague and began by asking him about his early memories of growing up in Jamaica.

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