The prosecution requested to play another video clip. The defense is objecting. Judge Sebutinde says the objection is premature. Defense says that based on a transcript it’s evident that the clip is just as problematic as previous ones. Judge Sebutinde over-rules objection, says the clip should be played.
Clip portrays a 17-year old named Ousman Conteh, abducted near his home town of Magburaka. He was taken to the diamond fields together with others and forced to mine day and night. Conteh says they would be killed if they rested, had to go to the toilet right there where they were working. There wasn’t enough food. “We were slaves.” If you were caught leaving to look for food, you would be killed. If the rebels suspected the miners of hiding a diamond, they would be killed. Another man speaking in the clip says one miner who took a diamond was killed.
Pros: Request to introduce into evidence Ian Smillie’s report to the court . Asks Smillie to explain an annex to the report.
IS: Annex discusses two periods of RUF control of mining areas. All mining was artisinal, without heavy equipment.
Pros: Is account in the video clip we’ve just seen consistent with your knowledge with how that mining took place?
IS: Quite typical – we heard many accounts similar to the accounts in the film.
Pros: What are the characteristics of Sierra Leonean diamonds?
IS: Sierra Leonean diamonds known for consistently high quality. Very high value per carat, much higher than in Congo or Canada.
Pros: Request to the court to introduce a letter from Sam Bockarie into evidence. (To Smillie:) Do you recognize this document, and if so, what is it?
IS: Yes, it’s a fax from Sam Bockarie to a diamond trader, granting him rights to mining in Sierra Leone.
Pros: Did you bring this document to The Hague? Where did it come from?
IS: Yes, I brought it. We on the expert panel obtained documents from various sources, including documents taken from Foday Sankoh’s house and the Sierra Leonean police. This document is probably not from the police, because police would not have given us the original, but rather a copy.
Pros: We can’t see a date on the copies but is a date legible to you at the top of the fax?
Pros: What’s the date on the document?
IS: October 8, 1999.
Prosecution has requested that court officials show the original document to the defense.