The prosecution is asking IS about his involvement with the History Channel’s documentary film “Blood Diamonds” (not to be confused with the Hollywood film “Blood Diamond”).  The witness is saying that he was asked to provide expertise for the film, and the prosecution just played a clip from the film in which Ian Smillie remarks on the quality of Sierra Leonean diamonds.

The prosecution has asked IS to describe how he knows about diamonds.  IS is talking about his involvement in organizing humanitarian aid for Sierra Leone, and encountering frustration with diamonds causing instability in the country.  He and colleagues decided to study how the diamond trade worked.  He traveled to Brussels, London and elsewhere to study the issue.  He co-authored a report called “The Heart of the Matter: Diamonds and Human Security” for Partnership Africa-Canada.  Since then PAC has published 17 occasional papers on the topic of conflict diamonds and the Kimberly Process. 

IS has edited and written some of these.  He has authored book chapters on conflict diamonds.

Pros: Are you familiar with the Kimberly Process?

IS: Yes.  Describing how wars in Sierra Leone, Angola, etc. brought attention to the conflict diamond issue, and caused concern for the diamond industry.  South Africa convened a first meeting in 2000 with interested states and NGOs.  Became the Kimberly Process to certify diamonds.  Process requires that all diamonds traded internationally be accompanied by a certificate that the diamonds are “clean”.  Mining countries must be able to trace diamonds to specific mines.  Transit countries (like Belgium) that export rough diamonds must also provide a certificate that they know what country the diamonds come from.