Defense is asking about Parnership Africa-Canada’s first report on the diamond issue, and how they first came to think that diamonds was an issue.
IS: A Sierra Leonean in the group raised it as an issue. Until then, the voluntary group had been focusing on humanitarian assistance to Sierra Leone.
Def: You’re saying that with all you knew at the time, nobody in your group came on the issue of diamonds as being central to the conflict?
IS: It hadn’t occurred to me, but when the Sierra Leonean in the group raised this as an issue, it was like a light going on, and it immediately struck me as being right that diamonds were central in the conflict.
Def: The authors of the report, “Heart of the Matter”: where were you when it was written?
IS: We were all in Ottawa, but co-author Lansana Gberie, who is a Sierra Leonean journalist, went on a research trip back to Sierra Leone for about six weeks.
Def: Where did you get the statistics in the report?
IS: These were open source statistics, including government statistics. Belgian statistics were online, but were later removed because they were embarrassing.