Pros: Asking about Smillie’s comments in the clip about the Sierra Leone Selection Trust having an army of 500 men in the 1960s.
IS: To gain access to Kono District, had to be a Kono speaker and have a pass. Koidu was a very dangerous, “Wild-West” town. Sierra Leone Selection Trust tried to control illicit diamond mining through raids with helicopters and trucks. Recalls seeing a big raid on the town during his time there in 1967-1968, with miners coming into the school, some of them pretending to be students.
Judge Sebutinde: What is the relevance of this evidence to the indictment and its time-frame?
Prosecution: Essential background. Relevance will become evident?
Pros. to witness: Asks about why crackdown on trade necessary.
IS: Beyond deep shaft mines, many of the diamonds in the area were alluvial and available to anyone digging near the surface. The company (Sierra Leone Selection Trust) did not want to lose these diamonds to illicit diggers.
Pros: Tell us about your work as a UN expert.
IS: After writing report for Partnership Africa-Canada and another report (on Angola) by the NGO “Global Witness”, the Security Council took interest in the issue of blood diamonds, and UN officials asked Smillie if he would be interested in serving on an expert panel. Smillie said yes.