The illegal trade in “blood diamonds” smuggled from Sierra Leone helped fuel a brutal civil war that lasted from 1991 to 2002 and caused an estimated 50,000 deaths. But so far, no one has been held to account for creating the system that moved stones from hellish mines in eastern Sierra Leone to the world’s diamond markets. Regrettably, that prospect is now even less likely, following the sudden death in a Belgian jail on September 28 of Michel Desaedeleer.
Desaedeleer, an international businessman who held dual U.S. and Belgian nationality, was arrested in August last year on suspicion of involvement in the war crimes of pillage and inhumane treatment and complicity in enslavement as a crime against humanity, among other charges.
The … Continue Reading