Defense is objecting to admission into evidence of the UN Panel of Experts report to the UN Security Council, arguing that only some of the panel were actually “experts”. The chairman was not an expert, and we submit that Smillie is also not an expert. He’s an expert in administration, but not diamonds. He had minimal experience in Sierra Leone and with diamonds at the time Partnership Africa Canada wrote its report. Compared to other members on the panel who had a lifetime’s worth of expertise, Smillie is unqualified as an expert. His report may be accurate, or not. But it does not make him an expert. We also argue that his report to this court should not be admitted into evidence.
Judge Sebutinde: We will argue these in individual order. For now, we are only concerned with the UN report.
Prosecution: Report was a group effort, including input from all of the experts whose backgrounds the defense reviewed this morning. The report contains some opinions in the recommendations, but the most important part is in the body of the report. This report relates facts on diamonds and arms shipments. Report was issued by the United Nations during the indictment period. It provided further notice to the accused that the RUF was committing atrocities and trafficking diamonds through Liberia – not that he needed additional notice, but this is relevant.
Judge Sebutinde: The UN Panel of Experts’ report is relevant and admissible into evidence. Issues raised by defense are pertinent, but go to the weight of the document. We will consider the merits of that in due course.
Defense is objecting to admission of Ian Smillie’s report to the court. In addition to arguments given earlier, defense points out that he has never testified as an expert before any other court. Smillie admitted that the Belgian import figures in the report are worthless, as are his estimates of Liberian diamond production. His look at the 8 diamond invoices are also untrustworthy.
Prosecution: There is no person better qualified to give an opinion on the role of diamonds in conflict. Prosecution is recounting Smillie’s extensive meetings with diamond industry representatives, his deep involvement in the Kimberly Process, his knowledge of Sierra Leone. The report itself indicates that the Belgian import figures are not reliable.
Judge Sebutinde: Mr. Smillie has exhibited special skills and knowledge in the field of diamonds, which qualify him as an expert under the Special Court’s statute. The reliability of his report is a question of weight, and that will be determined at the appropriate time.
Ian Smillie’s report is being admitted into evidence.
Court is now adjourning for half an hour. It will resume at 11:05, so with the delayed video and audio available to us, we will resume our summary here at 11:35.