The transcripts of the trial of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia. More…

  • Mr Smillie, did you prepare for this case at the request of the Prosecution a report entitled Diamonds, the RUF and the Liberian Connection?

  • Madam Court Officer, the Prosecution would like to mark that exhibit for identification. So that would be tab 1 --

  • Excuse me, counsellor. We don't know anything about this witness. You don't just jump into his testimony. Who is he?

  • I beg your pardon, sir. It's not your fault, but the Prosecutor needs to introduce you to the Court.

  • Sir, in the report you discuss your finishing university and first job. Can you tell the Court what your first job was after university?

  • I joined a voluntary organisation called Canadian University Service Overseas, CUSO, and I went to Sierra Leone to teach secondary school in Koidu, a town upcountry in Sierra Leone.

  • I would ask the usher then to take the document 11, tab 11, and mark that next for identification and show that to the witness, please. My case manager informs me we also have a larger size map for your Honours if you'd like to use that. This is in your binders under tab 11. Is that on the screen now?

  • Your Honour, I apologise for interrupting, but I have a difficulty with my LiveNote screen and I wonder if one of the technical experts could assist me in putting it back up, please.

  • Court manager, what is happening? Nobody has LiveNote on their screen actually. Does anybody have LiveNote on their screen?

  • Madam President, I have it on my screen.

  • We certainly don't have it on the Bench.

  • I do have it, your Honour, the LiveNote.

  • Your Honour, the reason your Honours do not have LiveNote is because they haven't been configured. We are hoping it can be done during the break

  • What about counsel who is complaining that he doesn't have it?

  • The technician will come in and assist counsel. Thank you.

  • Does the Prosecution have LiveNote on their --

  • I do, your Honour, yes.

  • So why does Mr Griffiths not have LiveNote?

  • Madam President, if I may assist the Chamber, the difficulty is that the LiveNote has to be individually configured and some members of the different parties could not attend the session last Friday when the configuration was done. It is expected that it will be done in the course of the day.

  • Mr Griffiths, I think there is nothing we can do at this stage, but what I would request as a way forward is that we take our notes for now, we take handwritten notes. I will ask the Prosecutor to go a little slowly to enable people to record until such a time as your computer and ours can be configured to accommodate us as far as LiveNote is concerned. Please proceed.

  • I would ask that the map in document number 11 be on the screens represented in front of your Honours. I was hoping that the witness could then indicate on that map where Koidu where he was teaching school in his first job after university, but I believe the witness would have to go to the ELMO to do that. I don't know if the usher could assist him. I'm not sure, for the record, if we have given this a number. I assume it is PE-2.

  • It's exhibit P-5.

  • It cannot yet be an exhibit because it has not been admitted. I think counsel is tendering it for identification purposes only. So what is the number for identification purposes?

  • Marked for identification P-1.

  • MFI P-1, that is the map of Sierra Leone. That can be found in our folders under flyer 11.

  • Your Honour, I was informed by the case manager that this is one of the handful of documents that was admitted pursuant to the pre-trial motion on findings of 92 bis documents. So this was marked in the Court order, I believe, exhibit 5 and that's P-5.

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • Then let the record show that what is before the witness is actually exhibit P-5. Is that correct? Is that the right exhibit number?

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • Exhibit P-5 is now shown to the witness. Please continue.

  • Is it possible to put this on the screen so that everyone can view what the witness is pointing to? I'm not sure how I get that on my screen.

  • Please press the button Document Cam Witness.

  • The name of the place as marked on this map is Koidu-Sefadu.

  • Thank you. Just to avoid any confusion there is another town with a similar name called Koindu with an N; is that correct?

  • But you were in Koidu. In which district is that in Sierra Leone?

  • Koidu is the district headquarters for Kono District.

  • What was it that you were doing there?

  • I taught secondary school. I taught English, French and history.

  • Counsellor this is not satisfactory. In view of the fact that the map has not come up on the screen and you're asking the witness to actually point out, I would rather that he took a pen and marked the town and passed it over to counsel opposite and to the Bench so that we're on the same page about this.

  • Thank you. Apparently it was on the screen. I had some difficulty getting it, but you need to push the Document Cam Witness button next to our screens.

  • It was not on the judges' screen and it ought to be and we're the ones taking the evidence.

  • Sorry for the procedural questions, your Honour. Is it an issue if he marks this exhibit if it's already been admitted?

  • We need to know if we're talking about the same place. We need to agree on what place it is he was at.

  • We can hand you another copy of the same map if you'd like and even mark that if you'd like.

  • Now we've got the copies of the map on all our screens on the Bench. Could the witness please point again.

  • Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. We don't have it on our screens and we don't appear to have the button.

    The button is external to the machine. Nobody told us about that. Thank you.

  • Court manager, could you please ensure that you ask the witness to point again, to indicate.

  • The town that I lived in and taught school at was on this map marked Koidu-Sefadu [indicated]. Would you like me to mark it on this map or not?

  • As long as you've indicated I think all the parties involved have seen the indication. It's not necessary to mark it. Please proceed.

  • Sir, how long did you teach there at Koidu?

  • I taught for one school year.

  • While you were living in that area did you observe any economic activities going on, any mining?

  • Koidu was the centre of the diamond mining area in Sierra Leone. It was very volatile. It was almost like a Wild West town. It was similar, I suppose, to a gold rush town. There were thousands of illicit diamond diggers. You had to have a pass to live in Kono District if you were not a Kono speaker, but there were thousands of people who had come into the area to dig diamonds. So it was a bustling town. The diamond pits were everywhere. It was all about diamonds.

  • When you finished that year of teaching school there in Sierra Leone what did you do next?

  • I was asked if I would take up a field staff job for Canadian University Service Overseas, CUSO, in Nigeria and I went to work in Nigeria and I lived there for another three years.

  • What years were those that you were in Nigeria?

  • Can you then tell us - go through the jobs that you've had in your professional career up to the present time?

  • After I returned to Canada from Nigeria I worked for a year in the CUSO headquarters in Ottawa. Then I took a job with CARE, the relief organisation, in Bangladesh. I worked for two years in the immediate post-war period in Bangladesh on a relief and development project for CARE.

    Following that I worked for a year with the Office of International Education at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and then I was involved in starting a Canadian non-governmental organisation called Inter Pares and I managed Inter Pares for four years and then I was asked if I would consider going back to CUSO as executive director. At that time CUSO was Canada's largest NGO. I did that and I held that job for four years.

    My wife had taken a job at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and so I left CUSO in 1983 to go and live in London and I had always wanted to do some writing so I thought this would be an opportunity to begin to exercise that ambition, which I did, but I discovered that you don't actually earn a great deal of money from writing about development subjects and so I took consulting jobs, short-term consulting jobs.

    Between 1983 and 1999 I worked as a self-employed consultant doing work on development issues in Canada, Europe and in developing countries. I worked for the Canadian government, UN agencies, NGOs, European NGOs, African and Asian NGOs and I continue to do that, I still work as an independent consultant, but starting in 1999 I began to work on a part-time basis with Partnership Africa Canada in connection with the war in Sierra Leone and the diamond issue.

  • Sir, are you familiar with a video, a documentary, called Blood Diamonds?

  • And that has a slightly different title than the Hollywood movie; is that correct?

  • The Hollywood movie was called Blood Diamond singular. The History Channel film was called Blood Diamonds.

  • Can you tell us, do you know who made that film Blood Diamonds?

  • It was made by a company called Bill Brummel Productions. I think they're based in California.

  • And where was that presented and when, do you know?

  • It was first shown in the United States on the History Channel at the end of 2006. I think it was December 30. I'm not exactly sure of the date, but I think it was December 30, 2006. It has since shown on television in Ireland, in London in Britain and in South Africa and elsewhere.

  • Did you have any association with that film?

  • The producers called me I think some time in the spring of 2006 and started asking me questions about diamonds and Sierra Leone, Angola, the conflict and that kind of thing and then they asked me if I would be prepared to be interviewed on camera for the film and I agreed to do that. They flew me, they paid for my ticket to New York and I was interviewed in New York, I think it was the beginning of July 2006.

  • Do you know what kind of reception the film got?

  • I think the film was very well received. I know it was nominated for an Emmy Award which is the equivalent in the United States of an Academy Award for television productions.

  • Your Honours, at this time I would like to show one very short clip from the film and have the witness comment. That would be clip number 1 that we've identified previously to the audio visual booth. Can the usher please make sure the witness has that on his screen? There is an unofficial transcript also available on tab 12 for your Honours and for counsel.

  • Is there a narrative that goes with this and if so --

  • As I mentioned, your Honour, there is an unofficial transcript under tab 12. If we could start it from the beginning for everyone's convenience, please. If the booth could start the film from the beginning. Thank you.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Thank you. Apparently the sound and video were not exactly coordinated.

  • Sir, at the last part of that clip that was shown you commented on the quality and the price of Sierra Leone diamonds. Is this a subject you've studied --

  • Counsel, we don't have evidence that the voice belongs to Mr Ian Smillie yet.

  • Sir, did you recognise yourself and your voice on that video?

  • Thank you. In the film you commented in the clip that was shown on the quality of Sierra Leone diamonds. Can you tell us when you became interested in this subject and what you've done to --

  • Mr Koumjian, you've asked two questions in one and that's the third time this morning.

  • Sir, when did you become interested in diamonds?

  • Well, I suppose I became interested when I first lived in Sierra Leone although I didn't think at that time it would lead to anything. I mean you couldn't live and work in Koidu and not take notice of diamonds.

  • Can you tell us what efforts you've made to study diamonds?

  • At the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999 there was a group of individuals living in Ottawa, people like myself who had worked in Sierra Leone or Sierra Leonean Canadians, people who had emigrated from Sierra Leone who were very concerned about the war and what was going on in Sierra Leone. We were concerned that the United Nations wasn't involved. We were concerned that the relief effort was mixed and fairly pale in comparison to what was going on in other emergency situations. We raised some money for relief efforts. I think we raised money for a clinic in Bo and it was burned down not long after it was constructed and we began to see that some of what we were doing was fairly futile.

    One of the Sierra Leoneans in the group said, "This is really all about diamonds and until somebody does something about the diamonds this war will never be over." I've done a lot of writing, I've done a lot of research, I've written seven books, I've co-authored other books, I've written many, many chapters for books. My time was my own. I thought why don't we start to look into this, why don't we try to understand whether or not this does have something to do with diamonds. And we did. We spent a year, most of 1999, working on this. There was a team of three of us, myself and two others, and we studied the issue in some depth. We not together but individually paid visits to Belgium, to London, to Sierra Leone. We talked to people in the industry and others to try and get an understanding of what this was all about. So that's where it began.

  • Since your interest began can you tell us if you've written on the diamond industry?

  • Yes, I've written - well, as I told your Honours, I work on a part-time basis for Partnership Africa Canada. We produced a first report on this which I co-authored called Sierra Leone Diamonds and Human Security. The head title was The Heart of the Matter, the subtitle was Sierra Leone Diamonds and Human Security.

    Since then Partnership Africa Canada has produced 17 different occasional papers on the subject of diamonds. These papers have looked into the issue of diamonds in Canada, India, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, southern Africa, Brasil, Venezuela and a number of other countries, all of course tied to the issue of conflict diamonds or to the workings of the Kimberley Process which came later. I've been author of some of those papers. I'm the editor-in-chief at Partnership Africa Canada so I've edited those papers. We produced a number of other papers on the subject of diamonds at Partnership Africa Canada as well and I've written chapters for books on the subject of conflict diamonds. I think I've written chapters for five different books, collections of articles about either how commodities are used to fuel war or about how NGOs work on campaigns of this sort and that kind of thing.

  • Are you familiar with the Kimberley Process?

  • Can you tell us what your involvement has been with the Kimberley Process?

  • The Kimberley Process was an effort to try to come to grips with this issue of conflict diamonds. By the middle of 2000 there was a great deal of concern in the diamond industry and among the governments of countries that depend on diamonds that the issue of conflict diamonds was getting out of control. There was the war in Sierra Leone, there was major problems/war in Angola, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was clear that this was a very large issue and the future of the diamond industry was at stake.

    In May of 2000 the Government of South Africa called a meeting to try to bring together some of the NGOs that had been working on this issue, ourselves at Partnership Africa Canada, Global Witness from England and a number of others along with industry leaders and other governments that were concerned about this, Botswana, Namibia, Canada, Belgium. The first meeting was held in the town of Kimberley in South Africa where South African diamonds had been discovered in the 1860s. That first meeting led to a number of other meetings and that became known as the Kimberley Process. Partnership Africa Canada and I in particular were involved in all of those meetings, both formal meetings and informal meetings that led to the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme which came on stream in 2003.

  • That is a scheme - can you explain what that scheme is, the Kimberley certification scheme?

  • The Kimberley Process basically requires that all rough diamonds being traded internationally must be accompanied by a government certificate. The government certificate has to say that the diamonds are clean. It has to say that - it indicates that the government issuing the certificate knows where the diamonds came from. That has to be backed by a system of internal controls in each country.

    Now it's different for a producing country like Russia or South Africa. It's different there from what it is in a country like Belgium where diamonds are not produced, but Belgium imports a lot of diamonds and exports diamonds. So when it's exporting rough diamonds it has to issue a Kimberley certificate as well saying it knows where these diamonds have come from. They have to be able to trace the diamonds back to the point of import. Or in the case of a mining country you have to be able to trace the diamonds back to the mine that they originate from.

  • I will just remind you to speak a bit slowly for the interpretation. Sir, you used the term rough diamonds. Can you explain what that means?

  • Rough diamonds means uncut, untreated.

  • That means the status of the diamonds when they would be found in the ground before being treated; is that correct?

  • Your Honours, I would now request that document tab 2 be given a number by the Court officer. That is the curriculum vitae of Mr Ian Smillie.

  • Court manager, is this for identification purposes?

  • I would move it into evidence at this time also, your Honour. Actually, I'm sorry, your Honour. If your Honour is satisfied with this procedure what I would prefer is I will move all the exhibits that I intend to move at the end of my examination.

  • Counsellor, the procedure is in any court of law, this one included, before you tender any exhibit in for admission you must examine your witness so that he attests to the contents of the document. You don't first tender it in and then examine the witness upon the document. Now you're talking about a curriculum vitae of Mr Smillie. We have a tab, we have a text of it here and there's contents in it that he hasn't spoken to in his evidence.

  • Right. And, your Honour, I wouldn't request him to read it or go over all of it, but I will ask him to recognise it. If your Honours like I can have him go over all of it. But the procedure I'm requesting is I will move all of the exhibits I intend to move in at the end of my examination. I will examine him about each document, but just to --

  • So are you asking the Court to mark this for identification?

  • Madam Court Manager, what is the number?

  • MFI-1, your Honour.

  • [MFI-1 admitted]

  • Sir, do you recognise this document MFI-1?

  • Yes.

  • And did you prepare this document?

  • Is it accurate in describing and summarising your professional background?

  • Yes. I see one small mistake in it, but it's generally - yes, it's correct.

  • Okay, would you please point out the small mistake?

  • The small mistake is under Awards on the first page, Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal 2002, it should be Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

  • What paragraph is that again, please?

  • It's on the first page under Awards.

  • What should the correction read like?

  • Instead of Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal it should be Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

  • Sir, can you explain these three awards, what they are?

  • The jubilee medal was awarded to - in Canada it was awarded to Canadians who had, I guess, exemplary community or national service. The Canadian Policy Research Award had to do with the research that I'd conducted on the issue of conflict diamonds. The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian award. It's given to no more than 5,000 Canadians at a time and it's for a body of work.

  • And is this document up to date?

  • Well, it's dated at the end. It's dated April 2007. There are obviously some other things that have happened since then, I have a few other publications, but generally speaking it's fairly up to date.

  • And what is your present occupation?

  • I work about between 50 and 75 per cent of my time with Partnership Africa Canada as research coordinator which means mainly working on the diamonds and human security project that we have and the rest of my time I work as an independent consultant and writer. I'm currently writing a book about Bangladesh.

  • Have you ever testified before?

  • I've never testified in a court of law. I've testified before Canadian parliamentary committees.

  • The subject of your report for the Court deals with Sierra Leone. Since you left from teaching school, I think you mentioned in Koidu, can you tell us what connections, what contacts you have had with Sierra Leone and the people of Sierra Leone?

  • Well, I've kept in contact with several of my students over the years so there's been an ongoing connection with the school that I taught at and some of the students who were there and one or two of the teachers as well. I went back to Sierra Leone - when I lived in Nigeria I went back once for a personal visit, a holiday. When I was executive director of CUSO I went on a formal visit to visit - to see our program in Sierra Leone in 1983. I met at that time with President Siaka Stevens and other senior government officials and travelled around the country. I didn't visit Sierra Leone again until 1996. I was asked by CARE, the large development and relief organisation, to go to Sierra Leone and to do a study on basically the development and strength of civil society in Sierra Leone. A lot of the relief work that was going on at that time during the war was being handled by international agencies and CARE was interested in finding out what the capacities were of local civil society organisations.

    I went back to Sierra Leone again I think once before I joined the United Nations Security Council expert panel. I don't recall the date. Since then, since 2000 when I was a member of the panel, I've been back to Sierra Leone several times. I was part of a Canadian government mission in 2001, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian foreign minister sent a delegation to Sierra Leone and Guinea and Liberia to better inform Canada about what was happening, the war was still on. Then I was asked by the Government of Ireland to take part in a mission in 2003 to look into the possibility of creating an Irish aid program in Sierra Leone.

    In 2005 I visited again in connection with Tufts University. Tufts University had a project for 10 years called the humanitarianism and war project and I was involved in that over a 10 year period and that took me to Sierra Leone in 2005 to look into security issues, human security issues and perceptions of security. In addition to those visits I've been to Sierra Leone three, four times, maybe five times, for Partnership Africa Canada.

  • I'd now like to play clip number 4. Again the transcript is under your Honours' tab 12. It is clip number 4 we're now playing. Do we need to mark this as a separate exhibit? Can I get a number please for this then?

  • Are you inquiring about the MFI number?

  • Marked for identification 2.

  • [MFI-2 admitted]

  • This is clip 4 on the video.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Mr Smillie, did you recognise yourself appearing on this clip?

  • Yes I did.

  • In the history, the brief history of Sierra Leone that was given on the clip, from your knowledge of the country and its history is that accurate?

  • Madam President, I'm very concerned about this line of questioning and the way in which this evidence is being introduced. Mr Smillie can talk about Mr Smillie's own experience. I haven't objected hitherto, but we've now been treated to two clips containing anonymous individuals giving, I suppose it will be claimed by the Prosecution, evidence about the history of Sierra Leone, about what went on there at different times, about the role of President Siaka Stevens and all sorts of other matters and I am extremely concerned that the Prosecution are introducing this material in this way.

    Mr Smillie has not purported to be a historian, he cannot give expert evidence about the history of the country unless the foundation is properly laid and I would ask that no more clips of this nature be played until a proper foundation for putting them into evidence is established.

  • Mr Prosecutor, what is your response?

  • Your Honour, the information that was given was very general information about the history. It's certainly something that anyone with the background of Mr Smillie who has lived and studied Sierra Leone would know and so I think it's - first I don't think any of this information is in dispute. Counsel may correct me if I'm wrong. Secondly I think Mr Smillie is certainly qualified to give this very general history. The purpose of his testimony is not this general history, but it sets a background.

  • Madam President, I was asked if any of it is in dispute. Some of it certainly is in dispute. Mr Smillie is in no better position than a first year student at university to give evidence of this sort, and that's no disrespect to him, but it is not the proper way of introducing evidence of the history of a nation into a court of law.

  • I uphold the Defence objection. The right procedure should be that any evidence that is led in this Court must have a firm foundation. You must show the foundation. Mr Ian Smillie is not called here as a historian. He has not come here to give his testimony as a historian. So you cannot ask questions that allude to the history. And I do agree with the Defence that you cannot play clips with anonymous speakers and hope to tender in that kind of evidence through Mr Smillie unless you lay a proper foundation for it.

  • Your Honour, the speakers I believe are identified on the clips and on the transcripts and of course your Honours control the proceedings, but the rules --

  • Not when you asked Mr Smillie his opinion about these people and their comments.

  • Sir, let me ask you about one of your comments on that clip. You said in the clip - and I'm referring to approximately between time 33:03 and 34:33, your Honours. You said, "When I lived there in the 1960s Sierra Leone Selection Trust had an army of 500 men. They had two helicopters, they had trucks and their whole business was to round up illicit diggers." Can you explain that comment, how you learned that information and what - well, first let me ask you that?

  • Well, because Kono District was regulated and because you had to have a pass to live there if you were not a native Kono speaker everybody was aware of the diamond business. Living in a town like Koidu, which I said earlier was a bit like living in the Wild West, it was an incredibly busy town. It was also a very dangerous town. There were fights, there were murders at night, there were large numbers of the Lebanese business people there who had shops where all of their wares were covered in dust, they actually weren't there for the retail trade that they purported to be there for, they were obviously there for something else, and the Sierra Leone Selection Trust, I mean their presence and their attempts to control the illicit diamond mining was evident. Practically every day you would hear the helicopters going over, the police would arrive in trucks and occasionally conduct raids in town. The diggers would run whenever the helicopters came or when the trucks arrived and occasionally they would swarm out over our school which was on the edge of town. I remember one occasion where there was a big raid in the town and hundreds of illicit diggers invaded the school. Several actually came and sat in the classroom to pretend to be students in case the police arrived on the school compound. The police did arrive and they all ran away. We saw this almost on a daily basis. It was a regular feature of life.

  • Mr Smillie, if you'll excuse me, did you say this testimony that you're giving, you were aware of these facts in the year 1960 something?

  • Yes, when I lived in Koidu. I'm describing the --

  • What is the time frame you're describing?

  • Mr Prosecutor, then I may ask where is this line of questioning leading? Is this in any way related to the time frame in the indictment.

  • Your Honour, it's very much related to diamonds, the significance of how diamonds are mined. It's significant to why you need to control an area and the population in order to exploit the diamonds in an area and I believe my next question will make that clearer.

  • Well, please be mindful of the time frame in the indictment and of the evidence that you're leading in this Court. Don't take us too far out of the line of the indictment, please.

  • Sir, you talked about the - in the quotation about the army of 500 men. What was the reason to round up illicit diggers? How does that help the company that was exporting the diamonds?

  • The company, the Sierra Leone Selection Trust had a lease area and it included kimberlite pipes, and I can explain something about how diamonds are mined if you'd like, but it included some deep shaft mines as well as alluvial diamond mining. Alluvial diamond mining is basically diamonds - you're mining diamonds that are very close to the surface of the earth. These alluvial diamonds can be mined in many cases - well, almost a hundred per cent of the time they can be mined by individuals with little more than a shovel and a sieve. The diamonds are very close to the surface. Obviously the Selection Trust didn't want to lose its diamonds to illicit diggers so the police - the purpose of having a large police force was to try and round up people who were in the district illegally and also people who were there legally but digging illegally.

  • In your preparation for your writings and testimony before parliamentary committees on diamonds in Sierra Leone have you studied the history of the diamond industry in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, I have.

  • You mentioned when discussing your background in diamonds your appointment to a panel of experts for the United Nations. Can you tell us about that?

  • Yes. At the Partnership Africa Canada we had issued a report on diamonds in Sierra Leone in January of 2000. There had been an earlier report on diamonds in Angola written by Global Witness and in March of 2000 the Angolan sanctions committee of the Security Council had come out with a report talking about the problem of diamonds in fuelling the war in Angola. It corroborated a lot of what Global Witness had said, it corroborated a lot of what we had said generically about the diamond industry and I was approached by the Security Council office at the United Nations and asked if I would let my name stand for possible membership in this new panel that was going to be created to deal with Sierra Leone. The names on the panel would be submitted to the Secretary-General and he would make a decision. So I said, yes, I would let my name stand. Some weeks later I was called back and told that the Secretary-General had made the choice and I was to be on the panel.

  • Your Honour, I'd like to ask to have marked for identification UN Security Council resolution 1306. It's document 3 on the tabs and I ask the Court Officer for an identification number.

  • The number is marked for identification 3.

  • [MFI-3 admitted]

  • May that please be shown to the witness.

  • Sir, do you recognise this document MFI-3 as a resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations?

  • Reading beginning at A is it correct that - does this paragraph indicate part of the concern for setting up this panel? Perhaps you could read it out loud and comment on it?

  • The first paragraph under A?

  • "Expressing its concern at the role played by the illicit trade in diamonds in fuelling the conflict in Sierra Leone, and at reports that such diamonds transit neighbouring countries, including the territory of Liberia."

  • Thank you. Going to paragraph 19 on the page that's marked with the evidence number 4316, does this paragraph refer to the request of the Security Council that the Secretary-General appoint a panel of experts?

  • Yes. Paragraphs A and B were the mandate that we were given.

  • The paragraph 19 indicates that the Secretary-General in consultation with the committee should establish a panel of experts. What committee is being referred to?

  • This is the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee on Sierra Leone. There are sanctions committees on different countries at different times and there was a sanctions committee at that time on Sierra Leone.

  • Paragraph 19(a) calls upon this panel to report - to collect information on possible violations of the measures imposed by Security Council resolution 1171 paragraph 2 of 1998. What was that prohibition?

  • I'd have to look at the report that we wrote, but I believe that is the embargo on arms shipments to Sierra Leone.

  • Perhaps just to make sure that you verify that I believe it's around paragraph 51 or 52 of the panel report. May the witness refer to his report, your Honour, to the panel report?

  • Which panel report are you referring to? Is that before the Court?

  • Then how can he refer to it?

  • Well, may the panel report be marked next for identification. That is document number 4 in the tab. It's a report of the panel of experts appointed pursuant to Security Council resolution 1306.

  • This document is marked for identification 4.

  • [MFI-4 admitted]

  • What tab is that on our files? Tab 4?

  • Tab 4, your Honour.

  • There are a number of documents under tab 4. There is a note by the President of the Security Council, there's a letter dated 14 December and then there's a report attached.

  • Yes, the report was attached to the letter and it's the report and I would specifically ask the witness if I may direct his attention to paragraph 52 on page 14 of that report.

  • Sir, does that refresh your recollection as to the paragraph 2 of resolution 1171 of 1998?

  • Yes. We were asked to collect information on possible violations of the measures imposed by paragraph 2 of 1171 and that's in paragraph 2 of the other document and it's about the arms embargo on Sierra Leone.

  • Sir, who actually named you then to the panel of experts?

  • The Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan.

  • Who were the other members of the panel?

  • The chairman of the panel was Martin Chungong Ayafor, a Cameroonian diplomat. We had a Senegalese air traffic control expert, Atabou Bodian. We had a senior Indian police officer from Interpol, Harjit Sandhu and we had an arms expert from Belgium Johan Pelman.

  • You have indicated that among these experts was someone from a civil aviation organisation, an expert in arms and a police officer. Did you have a particular expertise or area that you were mandated to concentrate on or to cover?

  • Yes, I was appointed for my knowledge of the diamond industry.

  • What was the time period that the panel worked?

  • We were appointed in August - I mean the panel was mandated in July, but we were appointed in August of 2000 and we worked through until January of 2001.

  • What was the method of work of the panel in collecting information and preparing the report?

  • We travelled extensively. We visited more than 20 countries, countries in West Africa, but other countries that were associated in some way or another with diamonds or weapons. Included South Africa, Israel, several European countries, North America, obviously, and others. More than 20, more than 20 countries. We spoke to government officials. In some cases it was ministries of foreign affairs, in other cases it was economic ministries, customs officials.

    We spoke to people in the industry. We spoke extensively to people in the diamond industry and we spoke to industry bodies such as the World Diamond Council or the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, but we spoke to individual companies as well, large ones like De Beers, and we spoke to individual diamond dealers and people who had been diggers on the ground in places like Sierra Leone and other West African countries. We spoke to traders, diamond exporters. So we spoke to the industry at length and from top to bottom.

    We spoke to a lot of military people. We spoke to people in the military in Sierra Leone. We spoke to the minister of defence in Liberia. We spoke to UNAMSIL officials in Sierra Leone. We spoke to intelligence agencies. We spoke to a number of intelligence agencies in the United States, in the United Kingdom, to the French in Sierra Leone and elsewhere.

    We spoke to the media. We found that the media often had very good leads on stories. Sometimes it was large international - prominent international media outlets or individuals. In other cases it was people who were stringers or reporters in Sierra Leone or Liberia. In some cases people spoke to us - took very great risks in speaking to us.

    We spoke to aid agencies, multilateral, bilateral aid agencies and diplomats in African countries. We spoke to civil society organisations in Sierra Leone, in Liberia. We looked at a lot of material, a lot of written material. We were shown material that had been found in Foday Sankoh's house in Sierra Leone after it was - after he was arrested. We were shown material from the Sierra Leone police. We were given material by journalists. We visited air traffic control operations in several countries and saw flight logs of aircraft movement.

    I'm trying to think whether I've left something out. We spoke probably - we probably did three or four hundred individual interviews but many of those interviews contained - I mean they were with many people. For example, I spoke to a number of Lebanese diamond dealers in Kenema that would probably account in our logs for one meeting, but there was something like 35 or 40 diamond dealers there and I met with them for more than two hours. So I certainly got more than one view. The same thing with church leaders. We met with church leaders in Liberia.

    We met with a group of Kono chiefs. Because the war was - because the situation in Kono District was so terrible during the war and while we were there many of the leaders had fled and were in Freetown or in other parts of the country. We interviewed chiefs not one by one but as a group and they often had detailed information about what was going on in their areas. People would be arriving with information on a fairly regular basis. So we spoke to a very wide cross-section of people at very high levels. We spoke to the President of Sierra Leone, we spoke to the President of Liberia, we spoke to ministers in several governments in several countries.

  • Going back then to the panel of experts report MFI-4, first do you recognise this document as being the report that the panel presented to the Security Council?

  • You talked about your meetings. I'd like you perhaps to just direct your attention to annex 2 of that report. I believe it's on pages 51 to 59. Does this annex list some of the meetings that the panel held?

  • Yes. It doesn't list all of the meetings because there were some individuals who spoke to us on condition of anonymity. The war was still very, very hot at that time and some people were very, very nervous about speaking to us on the record or for attribution.

  • Your Honours, I now request to play a clip we have labelled clip 3.

  • Madam President, as far as I can see from the unofficial transcript of this clip Mr Smillie doesn't appear to be on this, if we're talking about the television program that we've already seen two extracts from. On that basis I can't see how this can possibly be admitted - even purportedly admitted into evidence via this witness.

  • Could the Prosecutor please refer us to the tab in our folders where the unofficial transcript occurs?

  • It's on tab 12, your Honour. If you'd like --

  • And what is your comment in response to defence counsel's objection?

  • Your Honour, the rules of the Special Court allow the Court to consider any relevant documents. In fact this is very relevant. This witness will be able to comment - this is a very general clip about the diamond industry that illustrates some basic facts about the industry and this witness will be able to tell us if that is accurate. The weight of any exhibit, as your Honours know, is a matter for your Honours to decide or any opinion that's expressed, but this is not a court that has a hearsay rule. This is a court where your Honours decide what weight to give to evidence that's admitted and it can be in a form other than live testimony.

  • Yes, but if Mr Ian Smillie comes as an expert on diamond mining why can't he do exactly that and give his own testimony and opinions? Why does he have to comment on some anonymous speaker on a clip?

  • Most of the speakers are not anonymous, but the clip simply illustrates in a visual fashion for your Honours, for everyone, the testimony. We think it would be helpful. We hope your Honours think so, but if not we will do without it. But the clip allows - has images of diamond digging, for example, that your Honours can see that this witness can comment upon whether that is the way diamonds are dug. Some of the clips have that. How diamonds are polished, what diamonds look like in the rough, how diamonds are formed. It's an illustration the same as if I came here with a drawing of kimberlite pipes that this witness is talking about, it's just in the form of a video as opposed to being a photograph or a diagram.

  • Would you like the Bench to mark it for identification, this clip?

  • Because we haven't yet admitted it in evidence and when the application is made to admit this clip in evidence we will then give due consideration to the objections of counsel opposite as to whether or not it's admissible, relevant and admissible. So for now we will mark it for identification MFI-5. Is that correct?

  • Yes, your Honour.

  • Right. The clip 3 is marked as MFI-5.

  • [MFI-5 admitted]

  • Madam President, if I can just pursue my objection. One only has to look at the unofficial transcript to see what is contained in this particular clip and I would submit that it is of such a general nature --

  • Counsel, I have ruled on the issue. I have said we will mark this clip for identification purposes only at this stage.

  • Madam President, I accept that. I was trying to --

  • The Prosecutor has not applied to tender it in evidence yet. When he does you can then stand up and make your objections after everybody has had a chance to see it.

  • Well, I was simply trying to propose a more efficient way --

  • Not after the Bench has ruled, I'm afraid. You would be out of order.

  • I was simply hoping to re-open the matter before your Honour, but I will --

  • I will leave my objection until the time you've indicated.

  • Exactly, thank you. Please play the clip.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Mr Smillie, first of all you've talked about your background in diamonds. Have you spoken to people in the diamond industry?

  • Yes, extensively.

  • And what part of the industry are they in? Producers, retailers, resellers?

  • All levels from mining through to retail.

  • What is the World Diamond Council?

  • The World Diamond Council was created by the diamond industry to be the interface between the diamond industry and the Kimberley Process. It is made up of a wide range of companies from the mining firms through to retail. So, for example, De Beers is a member, BHP Billiton is a member, Rio Tinto, they're all members, but at the retail end you have Jewellers of America and a number of other bodies. So the World Diamond Council was created to deal with the issue of conflict diamonds by the industry at large and to be the representative of the industry in creating the Kimberley Process.

  • Have you had contact with the World Diamond Council?

  • Can you explain those contacts?

  • Well, at the beginning of the Kimberley Process negotiations - I should say we met with them right through the Kimberley Process negotiations from the beginning through to today. The Kimberley Process came on stream in 2003, but the meetings still continue. There are two annual meetings of the Kimberley Process to make sure that its conditions are being met and to deal with problems. We meet with World Diamond Council - the head of the World Diamond Council and with members of the World Diamond Council regularly. In the Kimberley Process there are working groups. There's a working group on monitoring, there's one on statistics, there's one on membership, there are a variety of technical groups and I'm a member of three of those. So again we meet regularly with representatives of the industry in those meetings.

  • In the clip did you recognise any of the individuals that were depicted?

  • Matthew Hart, the fellow with white hair, is a writer who wrote a book about four or five years ago call Diamond, The Heart of an Obsession.

  • There was an individual who was identified in the clip as Sol Goldberg who was talking about a 250 carat piece of rough that turned into to a 100 carat, $15 million diamond. Do you know him?

  • I don't know him, but the Goldberg Company is a very well respected and well known New York diamond company.

  • If your Honour could just give me some guidance as to when you want to take the break.

  • Yes, indeed. We should be breaking just about now if this is a convenient time to break. We will make a 25 minute break. It's now 25 to 11, so we will reconvene at 11.00 exactly.

  • [Break taken at 10.35 a.m.]

  • [Upon resuming at 11.00 a.m.]

  • Mr Prosecutor, please continue.

  • Thank you, your Honour.

  • Mr Smillie, I have just been asked to ask you to please speak a little bit more slowly for the transcription and interpretation. Just going back and clarifying a few things we may have gone over quickly, you have mentioned several times CUSO which I believe was the organisation you first worked for in Koidu and then later were executive director of. Can you explain what that organisation is?

  • CUSO, the acronym was Canadian University Service Overseas. It was the equivalent of the British VSO, or the American Peace Corps. It was designed to send young people overseas to fill jobs in countries shortly after independence. In the early days of the post-independence movement, some of those organisations were very large. They have since grown smaller, but CUSO when I went was quite a large Canadian organisation. It was a non-governmental organisation.

  • Thank you. I have also been informed that - my fault - we failed to mark for identification the first clip and the Court Officer has informed me that that should be marked as MFI-6.

  • Clip 1 is marked MFI-6.

  • [MFI-6 admitted]

  • Sir, in the video that we played just before the break, clip 3, there was some very brief description of the diamond industry from production to retail. Based on the discussions you have told us and studies you have told us about with the diamond industry, was that information accurate?

  • Yes. It was very sketchy, but accurate.

  • There was some discussion about the value of a diamond and I want to ask you about the relationship between the weight of a diamond, the number of carats, and the quantity - the number of diamonds. My question is is that relationship geometric, linear, or is it exponential. In other words does 200 two carat diamonds, will they have approximately the same value as one 400 carat diamond?

  • No, no, not at all. Smaller diamonds - I mean the value of diamonds increases exponentially with size. There are other factors as well: the clarity, the colour and obviously the weight.

  • Is there anything else you want to add about how the value of a diamond is determined and please speak a little bit slower?

  • Well, an industrial diamond - industrial diamonds can be worth as little as five or ten dollars a carat. A good one carat diamond could be worth several hundred dollars, but if you had a five carat diamond it would be worth considerably more than five times a one carat diamond. In other words, the value of a diamond depends to a large extent on the colour and the clarity; in other words, does it have inclusions. Not all diamonds are clear. What you see in the jewellery store looks like a clear diamond, but they can actually have small imperfections and that would affect the value. And then, of course, the size. In the diamond industry they call this the four Cs: clarity, colour, carats and --

  • Cut.

  • And cut. The cut is the shape of the diamond after it has been cut, so that would not have any effect on rough diamonds. It would have an effect if you could see that the diamond you are looking at would not yield a good cut.

  • You mentioned the term "industrial diamonds". Can you tell us what that means?

  • Industrial diamonds are essentially - I mean if you see a pile of industrial diamonds it might look like melted glass, black or brown. It wouldn't have any use as a gem diamond, but industrial diamonds are widely used in cutting industries, in drill bits and in the diamond industry itself in polishing gem diamonds. They are as hard as gem diamonds and so they have an industrial use, but not as a gem diamond.

  • So, just to be clear, you have used now the words now "gem diamonds" and "industrial diamonds". Are those the two categories?

  • Are there general categories of how diamonds are originally produced, or mined?

  • All diamonds are produced in the same way. I mean they are all produced by volcanic action - the right combination of heat and pressure and rock - and you get those pipes as we saw in the clip. It is a small volcano that pushes rock and gravel and what is known as kimberlite to the surface. These are small almost carrot-like volcanoes. They are not mountains. They can be very small. The surface could be - the surface of a kimberlite with diamonds could be half the size of this room. The biggest ones that have diamonds are probably no more than half a kilometre across. So, all diamonds are formed in that way.

    When you are prospecting for diamonds, you may find a kimberlite pipe intact - this is what happened in Canada, it is what you find in Botswana and some of the Russian mines - and in that case you simply put a fence around the mine and you dig down into the pipe, you bring up the rock, the gravel, you sort out the diamonds and basically that is how the mining is done.

    But diamonds were all formed more than 50 million years, ago, in some cases much, much farther back than that, and in some places the tops of these kimberlite pipes have been worn away. 50 million rainy seasons wearing away the top of a diamond pipe will scatter the diamonds that were included in it far and wide. The pipe itself may still be there, but the top ten, or 15, or 20 feet may be gone.

    Those diamonds are called alluvial diamonds; meaning river. They come - they are washed away by rivers in some cases down towards the sea. In many cases, the rivers no longer exist. They are not easy to trace in some cases. In other cases, as in Namibia, almost all of the alluvial diamonds have actually worn right out into the ocean and so all of the might is done offshore. They have ships that basically hoover up the diamonds from the ocean floor.

    The issue with many alluvial diamonds - and this is what you have in Sierra Leone, in many places in the Congo and parts of Angola, in Liberia and Guinea - the kimberlite pipes remain in some cases, but there are diamonds scattered over hundreds of square miles. These are alluvial diamonds and they may be anywhere from within an inch below the surface. They sometimes are even spotted on the surface. They could be as much as ten or 15 feet below and you may need to dig down quite far to get them, but you don't need a lot of heavy equipment as in the case of a kimberlite mine.

  • You mentioned in discussing kimberlites that they have a carrot form. Is that carat with two Rs, or one R?

  • Carrot with two Rs and shaped with the wide part at the surface.

  • How long ago were those kimberlites formed and these diamonds originally come to the surface?

  • A lot of them are formed in the Jurassic period. I think the most recent are not more recent than 50 million years. They go back a long way.

  • Mr Prosecutor, I have listened with interest to your line of questioning, but with the greatest respect this sounds like a history lesson. We are now into the Jurassic period. Does any of this relate to the Indictment?

  • Yes, your Honour. The way that the diamonds are --

  • Because thus far I do not see how it relates to the Indictment.

  • Well, your Honour, there are kimberlites in Sierra Leone, and for your Honours - for the record and for your Honours to understand what those are and how the diamonds can be spread out from that kimberlite and how they can be mined, where they are, what kind of procedures and equipment are required, I believe it is relevant to know that these diamonds were formed many millions of years ago.

  • Yes, but how is all this related to the Indictment?

  • It is related to the Indictment, your Honour, because the Prosecution will show that there was a campaign of terror carried out in these districts and, because these diamonds were on the surface, Mr Smillie testified earlier that when he was living just after university in Koidu there were over 50,000 illicit diggers picking up diamonds. It is very relevant to understand why people that wished to exploit the diamonds would then terrorise a population to understand where these diamonds can be found in Sierra Leone and how they are spread out from the kimberlite pipe.

  • Mr Prosecutor, do proceed, but be mindful not to wander off.

  • Okay. Very briefly, sir, can you explain how diamonds go from production to world markets and retail?

  • In a legal situation in most countries the miner has a licence, and this could be a very small miner digging alluvial diamonds like I have just described, or it could be a very big company with a deep shaft mine. The mining company has a licence. They may export directly if it is a large company, but in Sierra Leone, in West Africa, in Congo and Angola, you have a lot of small miners - very small miners. They have a licence to mine, if they are doing it legally. They will sell probably to a dealer, who will consolidate the diamonds and sell those diamonds to an exporter. In Sierra Leone you have a distinction between a mining licence, a dealer's licence and an exporting licence. The exporter will consolidate what the dealers bring and will export them. They will then go to one of the major international trading centres. They might go to Antwerp. Most go to Antwerp. It is the biggest trading centre in the world. Some might go to Israel. Some might go to India. Some might go to the United States, or another centre where diamonds are traded, or cut and polished.

  • What is the role of Belgium in the world diamond trade?

  • At one time Belgium was the premier cutting and polishing centre in the world, but that has changed. Belgium very polishes very few diamonds now, but it is still the major trading centre for diamonds in the world. Something between 75 and 90 per cent of all rough diamonds as well as a significant portion of polished diamonds are traded through Antwerp. The biggest cutting and polishing centre today is India. Although India is no longer mining diamonds, diamonds are India's - polished diamonds are their biggest export.

  • You have studied and written about diamonds' role in conflict. Can you tell us is there anything about the characteristics of diamonds that gives them a role in conflicts?

  • Well, diamonds are the most concentrated form of wealth on earth. You could put five million dollars' worth of diamonds in your pocket and it wouldn't show. It wouldn't show up on a metal detector going through airport security. It would show up an on an x-ray machine, but very few airports have x-ray machines. So they are very small, they are high value, they are easy to move, they hold their price, historically they have held their price very well, and so they have become - not so much today, but in the 1990s, the period that were talking about, they were an alternative to hard currency in countries where there was no hard currency, or where people wanted to hide the movement of money.

  • You have discussed kimberlite pipes. Can you tell us what kimberlite dikes are?

  • In some cases when those volcanic eruptions happened, they didn't actually get to the surface. They would get almost to the surface and then they would be sidetracked and so you would get a drainage off to the side. You would get a long line of diamondiferous material; by diamondiferous I mean containing diamonds. Many kimberlites and many kimberlite pipes don't have diamonds.

  • Are there any kimberlite pipes or kimberlite dikes in Sierra Leone?

  • Where are they and how many, if you know? Excuse me, where are they?

  • The kimberlite pipes, the ones that are economic and have been mined and are being mined, are in Kono district, and the dikes are in Tongo Field which is in the Kenema area.

  • What is a kimberlite fissure?

  • It is like a dike. It is the same sort of thing. It is something much less economically viable than a kimberlite pipe, if it is diamondiferous.

  • Can you tell us how diamond mining has taken place in Sierra Leone?

  • Diamonds were first discovered in Sierra Leone in the 1930s and the Sierra Leone Selection Trust, a company which was part of the Selection Trust - Selection Trust was a very large, one of the largest, international mining firms of the day. It was taken over eventually by BP, but Selection Trust owned the Sierra Leone Selection Trust. At the beginning, Sierra Leone Selection Trust had a lease on the entire territory of Sierra Leone. In other words, they had the sole right to do all mining in Sierra Leone. It became fairly clear by the 1950s that this was not viable. They could not manage the entire country and there was a lot of illicit behaviour as well, and so their lease was contracted to an area around - well, an area in Kono District and an area around Tongo Field. In the 1950s, the government allowed licensing of artisanal diamond miners and so there was small scale mining as well as large scale mining. And on top of that - that is all the legal side of things. On top of that there was a great deal of illicit digging as well.

  • You have used the word "artisanal" diamond mining. Can you explain what that is?

  • Artisanal means that it is done by artisans. It is basically done by hand. There would be no serious equipment beyond a shovel and a sieve and gangs of men just basically shovelling the earth and sifting it.

  • We saw some clips, some scenes in the videos that we have seen, of people standing in water with what looked like a sieve. Is that, based on your experience, an accurate depiction of how that type of mining took place?

  • Yes, that is the way they did it and still do it.

  • What other types of mining besides artisanal are there?

  • Well, as I said, there is industrial mining, where you have a large kimberlite pipe and you have to - I mean, the investment required to actually bring those diamonds up is quite serious. I think BHP Billiton invested I think 400 billion dollars in the infrastructure required to get diamonds out of the Ekati mine in Canada. So the industrial - the capital investment in some kinds of mining can be very serious, and then at the other end you have artisanal mining. In-between you can have semi-industrial mining. For example, you may know that the diamonds are down ten feet or twelve feet and you would use some heavy equipment to get that up, bulldozers and drag lines and pumps and that kind of thing, but it would not be - you know, the capital investment would not be tremendous. So you have got industrial, semi-industrial and artisanal.

  • What are tailings?

  • Tailings are the gravel that is left over after mining has taken place, so you will have large gravel dumps and those are called tailings.

  • Are there any tailings in Sierra Leone?

  • Yes, there are significant tailings. The Sierra Leone Selection Trust, SLST, produced diamonds for many years and these tailings were piled in various places in Kono District. They are now a significant source of diamonds because, when the Sierra Leone Selection Trust was working, they ignored diamonds below a certain size and their equipment for some reason did not pick out diamonds above a certain size. So, these tailings are known to contain a good deal of diamonds and the government has leased these out for re-mining and so people will pay money to get access to these tailings.

  • Thank you. I would like to now play Clip No. 2.

  • Do we mark this for identification as well?

  • Please, your Honour.

  • That would be MFI-7. MFI-7?

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • [MFI-7 admitted.]

  • And what is the equivalent tab of the narrative?

  • It will be tab 12. It will be the clip 2.

  • Please switch to PC2.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Sir, first of all in your work for the United Nations panel of experts and in your other contacts with Sierra Leone, have you heard stories of atrocities committed in the conflict?

  • Yes, many.

  • And what were the sources of these stories, or these accounts?

  • You know, I think there are very few Sierra Leoneans who don't have a direct experience of some of these atrocities. If it didn't happen to them directly, it happened to - it happened to members of their family.

    I can give you the example of one of my students. She was 13 or 14, when I taught her at Koidu secondary school. When I was in Sierra Leone about four years ago I had lost touch with her, but she heard from a mutual acquaintance that I was coming and she wanted to see me and she came and she told me her story. Now she is, you know, in her late 40s. She was from Kono and her husband - she had married, she had two children. They were in the diamond business, her husband had land and mined diamonds, and they were I guess fairly well off. They had a house and a Land Rover. She said that if the rebels came - they were in Kono District and they knew that there was a chance that the rebels would come. She said if they came they had made a plan. They would go out the back way and they would run. They would run through the woods and across the border to --

  • Your Honour, I hesitate to interrupt, because it was our intention that Mr Munyard would deal with this aspect of the evidence, but I am becoming increasingly concerned at the way in which this witness is being examined. The last clip that was shown showed images of mutilated individuals. There is nothing to suggest that this witness knew that individual personally such to be able to make comment on that clip. Now he is being asked to repeat evidence that he has heard, or comments he has heard, from other people. He should not be here being used as a conduit for gossip, rumour, accounts given by other individuals. He is here as an expert on diamonds. Can we restrict his testimony, please, to that topic and stop using this witness as a conduit for this kind of prejudicial material about which he has no expertise whatsoever.

  • Mr Prosecutor, your comment?

  • Your Honour, the witness is an expert on diamonds and their role in this conflict, and key to this conflict and key to this case is the horrendous crimes that were committed; motivated as that double amputee in the video said by the desire for diamonds and fuelled by diamonds. This witness is now telling us about that this clip is typical of stories that he heard - accounts that he heard - from victims, from persons he personally knew, and is recounting one of those.

    In this case, the Defence made a point in the first appearance - I believe it was in August - "Please don't bring these amputees here. The issue of the victims is not at issue that crimes were committed". But of course in this Court I think it is very relevant to this case that crimes were committed and the victims should have an opportunity - we should have an opportunity to hear their accounts. The clip was a matter --

  • Yes, but Mr Prosecutor, the point you are losing sight of is this. You have just played a clip before the Court depicting certain personalities and those personalties said certain things. Now logically we would expect this, your witness, to relate to this clip. He has not done that and I am just wondering what is the point of the clip in the first place, because Mr Smillie could go ahead to give the evidence he has just given a minute ago without the clip. Now, unless you can justify to me the point of showing us clip upon clip upon clip over which the witness has absolutely no comment, I will have to make a ruling in favour of the Defence.

  • Your Honour, I plan to present a total of six clips. I believe this is the fourth. They total just under 19 minutes. Three of those totalling less than nine minutes, eight minutes and 53 seconds, include accounts of victims of this conflict. I think this Court has an obligation even to hear these victims and have their voices heard. We are making every effort in our case to concentrate on - not on the crime base, but on links, but we want and we ask for the opportunity to present this evidence.

  • Mr Prosecutor, evidence is evidence. We are not here to watch movies, or videos. You have to make a foundation for the evidence that you lead before the Court. The whole point of this objection was that the evidence, the clips you are showing, there is no foundation laid for them as far as this witness is concerned.

  • Well, this witness has just raised --

  • So, I do uphold the objection of Defence counsel. I think you must lay a foundation for the evidence that you lead. If you are going to show the Bench and the public a video clip, help us to see the relevance of it in light of the witness that you have called and that is the way it will be. So, I do uphold the objection. Don't pursue that line of questioning again.

  • Which line of questioning should I - I just could use a little bit of guidance?

  • A line that is acceptable with the procedures that we have agreed upon so far, whereby you lay a foundation before you make statements to the witness.

  • Sir, you were in the midst of telling us that you have heard many accounts of atrocities committed in the war. Is that correct?

  • And I believe you were talking about one particular student?

  • Yes, I was recounting what she told me that they had made a plan to escape if the rebels ever arrived in Kono where they lived. When the rebels did come --

  • Are we not back to - have I not just ruled that kind of question out of order?

  • I am sorry, but then I didn't understand.

  • That was precisely what Defence counsel objected to; that kind of hearsay where we don't know the name of this student and we don't - you know, how are we going to confirm this?

  • Well, your Honour, hearsay in my understanding is admissible. It goes to weight. We can bring thousands of victims to the Court. My understanding was from Defence Counsel that they didn't want us to do that.

  • Mr Prosecutor, this witness is essentially an expert in diamond mining. Restrict his evidence to that, please.

  • He is an expert in diamonds and their role in conflict, just to correct what our position is.

  • Sir, just one moment and I will gather my - I will move on to another area. Sir, did you receive some information from your work with the panel of experts and your other contacts with Sierra Leone about how mining took place during the war?

  • Yes.

  • And what type of mining was that generally?

  • The industrial mining licences went into abeyance, there was a declaration of forced measure because of the war, and all of the international diamond miners pulled out very early in the war. After that all of the mining was artisanal alluvial diamond mining.

  • Your Honour, I would now like to play --

  • What war are we talking about?

  • Sir, which war are you speaking of?

  • I am speaking about the conflict in Sierra Leone.

  • Can you be more precise about the approximate years you are talking about?

  • Well, I am talking about the period 1991 to 2001/2002.

  • I would now request that Clip No. 5 be played. Again, that is in - tab 12 is the transcript.

  • Clip No. 5 is marked for identification as MFI --

  • MFI-8, your Honour.

  • [MFI-8 admitted]

  • [Video commenced]

  • Madam President --

  • Could you please stop the clip. Pause the clip a bit.

  • [Video paused]

  • Madam President, exactly the same objection applies here. I am going from the transcript that the Court has before it.

  • What is the nature of your objection?

  • That this is - how is this witness able to say what these witnesses who are interviewed in this clip whether they are accurate, who they are? Again, it is pure hearsay.

  • Counsellor, first of all this clip has been marked for identification. Secondly we haven't even seen the clip, let alone the witness being asked any question, and so do you not think your objection is premature?

  • Well, Madam President, the difficulty is going on the transcript it does not seem to us that the Court should see the clip at this stage. If the Court wishes to see it then it just spends more time looking at material which it may then well decide is not appropriate, as happened in the case of the last clip.

  • Counsellor, if anything goes on the transcript it is not what is important. What is important is what is admitted in evidence and the weight we ultimately give to it.

  • Yes, I accept that.

  • So, I will overrule your objection. Please proceed. Please proceed with showing the clip.

  • [Video played to the Courtroom]

  • Your Honour, I would like to mark for identification now the report of Mr Smillie that was submitted by the Prosecution in this case entitled "Diamonds, the RUF and the Liberian connection". For identification only, may that be marked the next in order for identification at this point?

  • We have just marked for identification clip 5 that we have just watched.

  • What was the purpose of that clip?

  • Well, I am about to work on the foundation, your Honour, by referring to the report. I want to start working on the foundation of that and I would ask the witness to refer to his report for something on that.

  • So, the report is under tab 9?

  • It is tab 1, your Honour.

  • Tab 1. Right, this report is marked as MFI-9.

  • [MFI-9 admitted]

  • Mr Smillie, I would like you to turn to annex 3 of that report. It is on page 28 of the report. Can you explain this annex?

  • Essentially, it describes the periods during which the RUF controlled the two major diamond areas in Kono District and Tongo Field during the war.

  • Did you obtain any information in your work on Sierra Leone about how the RUF took advantage of control of these areas?

  • Was mining going on during the times that RUF controlled these areas?

  • Yes, very definitely.

  • What type of mining?

  • As far as I know, it was all artisanal mining. I don't believe they had any heavy equipment.

  • Did you - you watched the video clip that we just played which was marked TFI-8(sic). Did you receive information - after watching that clip, is the account of the young man in that clip consistent with other information you received about how that mining took place?

  • I think that is fairly typical. We interviewed many people who had been miners. As I said earlier, we interviewed people - Kono chiefs - who described what was going on in the diamond mining areas while the panel was operating. The panel was operating during the war and this - the diamond mining areas were certainly in Kono District held at that time by the RUF so we couldn't go there, but there were many, many descriptions that were very similar to what we saw in the film.

  • Sir, you talked about the various qualities and prices per carat of diamonds. What is the condition of diamonds mined from Sierra Leone? The characteristics?

  • Sierra Leone diamonds are quite special in the diamond world. The diamond dealers will tell you that they are special. They have special characteristics of light and colour and so on. But I think the main characteristic of Leonean diamonds is the high run of mine value. Run of mine means average - the average value. The average value of diamonds mined in Canada, in a Canadian mine, might be 100 or 125 dollars a carat. In the Congo it is only 25 dollars/26 dollars a carat on average. In Sierra Leone it has been consistently over 200 dollars a carat. So, you have got consistently very high value diamonds coming from Sierra Leone.

  • Thank you. I would now ask that the document in tab 18 be marked next for identification and for the record that appears to be a letter from Sam Bockarie - an appointments letter.

  • The document that appears under tab 18 is marked for identification as MFI-10.

  • That is correct, your Honour.

  • [MFI-10 admitted]

  • Thank you, your Honour. Now, I believe that there is one copy that really is more legible - the original. Does the Usher have the original? Yes. I would actually ask that - okay, at a subsequent point I would ask that to be passed to your Honours because there are some things on that that you cannot see in the copy. Just the date.

  • Is the witness being shown the original, or what?

  • Sir, do you recognise the document in front of you?

  • And who - what is that document?

  • It is a fax and the address of the fax machine is from Fyad Hijazi Company. There is a phone number and a date. It is a letter, "To whom it may concern", allegedly I guess from Sam Bockarie, giving Mr Hijazi the rights to diamond mining and dealing in Sierra Leone over a certain period of time.

  • And is that paper that it is on appear to be fax paper?

  • Did you bring this with you to The Hague?

  • Where did you obtain it from?

  • The panel received documents from a wide variety of sources. In some cases we received copies of documents from the Police. We received documents from journalists. There were people who had access to Foday Sankoh's house after it was looted, either before or after the Police, and they picked up material as well and gave it to us. To be very honest I don't remember where we got this paper, but we certainly didn't get it from the Police because they wouldn't have given us a direct - a direct fax. They would have given us a copy.

  • Did Mr Bockarie indicate a title below his signature?

  • Yes, there is - as part of the letterhead it says "Major General Sam Bockarie, Chief of Defence Staff Revolutionary United Front Sierra Leone".

  • Now, we only have copies. Is there a date on the fax at the top legible to you?

  • Yes, October 8 1999, 2.44 p.m.

  • Your Honour, could the usher show that to the Defence counsel and then perhaps to your Honours?

  • Counsellor, we are trying with great difficulty to read this rather illegible document. We don't know what it is that you want the Bench to take note of; whether it is the phone number appearing thereon, or the date - a date appearing? As for the content of the document, half of it is totally illegible.

  • Perhaps I could have the witness read the letter - read the document? I understand it is difficult to read, but I believe --

  • Yes, if we can't read it, how can he read it?

  • Well, perhaps he can. Your Honours cannot read the document?

  • Even with my glasses on I cannot read this document. It is illegible.

  • In some ways the --

  • Your Honour, may I enquire if the Prosecution are proposing to prove that that is actually Sam Bockarie's signature and came from him? Whether or not we can read it, it seems to us that that is the fundamental purpose of them producing this illegible document.

  • Well, your Honour, in International Courts we don't have to - well, my understanding is that we do not have to lay that type of foundation. In fact we have other documents which we will present subsequently that have the identical signature, but that will come at a subsequent time.

  • That is correct. [Microphone not activated], but of course you have every right --

  • I don't think Madam President's microphone is on.

  • You have every right to cross-examine this witness in that direction. If he is making such certain statements pertaining to the contents of this document, you have every right to cross-examine him when the time comes.

  • Of course, but you were asking questions about the document. I thought it appropriate to perhaps raise that issue, which seems fundamental at this stage.

  • I was alluding to the legibility of the document, not the authenticity. Just the legibility. As far as we on the Bench are concerned, half the document is illegible. We could not read it. Whatever the value you want to attach, please go ahead and illustrate this value.

  • Sir, does the document reference diamonds?

  • Just setting the scene for this a little bit, you said that the fax date at the top left was October 1999. Are you familiar with the July 1999 Lome Peace Accord?

  • Did the Lome Peace Accord discuss at all the RUF and the mineral resources of Sierra Leone?

  • I don't recall that it discussed the RUF and mineral resources. It appointed Foday Sankoh chairman of a commission that would manage mineral resources in Sierra Leone.

  • And for the record, because you are the first witness, who is Foday Sankoh?

  • Foday Sankoh was the leader of the Revolutionary United Front.

  • Your Honour, I would just suggest if your Honours - I have what looks to me to be a better copy. It is a photocopy of this. Apparently your Honours have it, but if your Honour want to indulge me I could read this and we could see whether we all agree that this is the text? It is rather short, but it is up to you.

  • You are not the witness, Counsellor.

  • No, the document speaks for itself. I am just saying what ---

  • You are not the witness. The witness that you wish to tender this document through is sitting right there.

  • Sir, can you read the fax? Is it legible to you?

  • It is. It is in fact a scan that I made myself and sent and so it is - it shows up. When you photocopy this original it shows up the stain. There is a stain on it. It shows that up and it shows the wording out much more clearly.

  • Well understanding that it is ultimately for your Honours to decide, could you read what you understand from the letter?

  • It says:

    "To whom it may concern,

    Mr Mohammed Hijazi has been mining and dealing diamonds in Sierra Leone for over 15 years. During this period he has been found to be honest and trustworthy. The RUF has therefore appointed him as their agent to negotiate with any person or company within or outside Sierra Leone for the prospecting, mining, buying and selling of diamonds. Anyone dealing or contracting with the said Mr Mohammed Hijazi will have to comply with the mining laws and all other laws in force in Sierra Leone. This letter of introduction will expire on the fifth day of January 2000. We wish him well", and then the signature.

  • Okay, I would like to move now to a different topic - a slightly different topic - and that is your knowledge of Liberian diamond production. Can you tell us first of all are there any diamonds present or mined from Liberia?

  • Yes.

  • What is the quantity and quality of these diamonds?

  • This is a complicated question, because many diamonds have been smuggled through Liberia for many years and so sorting out which diamonds were Liberian and which diamonds might have been from Sierra Leone or some other place has always been historically difficult from the 1950s on, but mining companies have worked in - international mining companies have worked in Liberia and I think it worked on the assumption that the prospects were better than they were and most have not stayed. De Beers for a time was there. There have been other companies. Generally speaking, Liberia has a reputation for low quality diamonds. They have all been - I should not say all, but mainly artisanally produced. The average run of mine value of Liberian diamonds is between 25 and 30 dollars a carat; historically significantly lower than Sierra Leone.

  • Your Honour, could the witness please slow down for interpretation and transcribing? It is becoming difficult to do that. Thank you.

  • I might suggest also, Mr Smillie, you just give a little pause after a few sentences. You mentioned the price of Liberian diamonds being about 25 to 30 dollars per carat. What again is the price of Sierra Leone diamonds on average per carat?

  • During the 1990s they were around 200 dollars a carat. Today they are a bit higher than that.

  • One question. When an expert looks at a diamond - a rough diamond, uncut, unpolished - can you determine, can the expert determine, the place of origin of that rough diamond?

  • Most diamond dealers, they refer to themselves as diamondaires. Most diamond dealers - international diamond dealers - will tell you that if they receive a parcel of diamonds from Sierra Leone, only Sierra Leonean diamonds, they would probably be able to identify it as such. If they received a parcel of diamonds from Namibia they would probably be able to - they would probably be able to identify it as such, but once the diamonds are mixed - once any mixing takes place - they lose track of it. They can't pick a diamond out of a mixed parcel and say, "This one came from Sierra Leone", or that it came from Namibia, or South Africa. It might be similar to diamonds that came from one of those locations, but they can't really say with any assurance. There are a number of experiments and technologies that are being investigated that could better identify the origin of diamonds, but a professional diamond dealer in most cases cannot tell you where the diamonds in a mixed parcel came from.

  • Sir, can you tell us - and if you need to refer to a document please let me know - what the production was, production totals, from Liberia from 1987? In 1987?

  • I am going to look at my report that I wrote for the Court.

  • For your Honours, I direct your Honours to --

  • Yes, your Honour, and particularly page 9, table 1.

  • The figures that I put in the report, there are three sets of figures. There were the figures from the US geological survey, which indicate that between 100 and 150,000 carats were being mined a year. The second set of columns were figures provided by the Liberian government, which are similar in nature, slightly higher in some cases, and only for the years that I have shown. There were no official exports during the war. And then the third set of columns is the figures from Belgian customs authorities showing what had been imported into Belgium. I think generally speaking geologists and diamond people knowledgeable about Liberia will tell you that the lower figures, 150/200,000 carats per annum, are fairly typical.

  • What do these statistics from the Liberian government indicate as the year where the highest amount of diamonds in terms of total carats was produced?

  • 1987 was the highest year: 295,000 carats, with an average per carat value of 37 dollars and nine cents.

  • And just to clarify perhaps my own mistake in that question, is that production or export?

  • Those would be export figures, because I think governments even today have a hard time figuring out how much is actually mined and so they base their statistics on what is exported.

  • Looking at this table - excuse me. You have also mentioned the Belgian import figures. Can you explain how these figures are collected?

  • These figures are collected by Belgian authorities. These are the official import figures for Belgian rough diamonds during these years in question.

  • When someone takes diamonds - a large quantity of diamonds - to Belgium, what kind of procedures are there in order to record that import?

  • If they are imported legally - and all of these would have been imported legally because they have been recorded by customs - they would have to present invoices showing the value of the diamonds and where they got them. All of the diamonds going into Belgium are checked. In other words, the parcels are opened and inspected to make sure that - I mean, you know, they don't go over each and every diamond, but they want to make sure that the diamonds in the parcel are roughly what is stated on the invoice and on the import documents.

  • To summarise this table, does it show that Belgium was recording much higher imports coming from Liberia than Liberia was recording exports?

  • Did you actually see any of these documents that were presented at the import into Belgium?

  • Yes. I went to the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Antwerp, that handles these figures for the Belgian government, and I asked to see a selection of invoices for different years so that I could understand where and how these diamonds were being traced back to Liberia. So, I saw eight sets of invoices.

  • Did you record the names of the companies that were exporting these diamonds from Liberia to Belgium?

  • Did you check on those companies in any way?

  • What we did was we visited a couple of the companies in Antwerp to talk to them about this and we traced back each one of those eight invoices to the street addresses in Monrovia that purported to be the origin - the company in Liberia that was exporting these diamonds. So, we actually made a physical check on the address of the companies in question.

  • So just to clarify and make sure I understand your answer, you visited importers in Belgium and they gave you documents showing which company in Liberia had exported the diamonds?

  • No, no. We visited companies in Liberia - I am sorry, in Antwerp, to discuss with them what these diamonds were; where they came from. The invoices were received from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Belgium and those were the ones that we checked directly ourselves on the ground in Liberia.

  • So, those invoices which you found in Belgium in government offices contained the names and addresses of Liberian companies?

  • And did you make any attempt to verify those addresses, or those companies?

  • Yes, we did.

  • In all cases we found that the addresses simply didn't exist, or in a couple of cases there might have been a name plate on a door but there was nothing more than that. Courier companies had been instructed if there was any mail coming for these companies they were - the mail was to be redirected to the Liberian International Shipping and Corporate Registry, or its predecessors before it was formed.

  • I would like to now turn to annex 4 of your report. Again, that is MFI-9 I believe. It shows a map.

  • Just quickly, what page of the report would that be please?

  • Page 29 of MFI-9 of the report.

  • Can you just explain - and we all have that map I believe in front of us, but perhaps if your Honour would like for the audience we could put it on the ELMO?

  • You want this page displayed on the --

  • Can that be done, Madam Court Manager? Page 29 is a map. Could that be put on the screen, please?

  • It is possible, yes, if they can guide me as to which of the large maps it is.

  • I don't believe it is. It is just page 29 of MFI-9, if we put that on the ELMO if it would show. It is tab 1, page 29. Tab 1, page 29.

  • Mr Smillie, perhaps you can go to the ELMO and stand by that to answer these questions?

  • Please switch to document cam witness.

  • First, do you have a pen or something to point with there, please?

  • Can you first show us where the Liberian border is depicted in this map? The Liberian/Sierra Leone border?

  • This is the Liberian/Sierra Leone border along here.

  • Can you show us where Buedu is?

  • And you have identified this as the RUF headquarters, is that correct? Did you have information to that?

  • Yes. Not throughout the war, but in the latter years their headquarters was at Buedu.

  • Can you then also just show us again where the diamond areas are in Sierra Leone?

  • The major area is around Koidu up here. This whole area, Kono district, is where the largest concentration of diamonds are. The second largest concentration is around Tongo Field, which is here. That airstrip was a Tongo Field airstrip that was built by Sierra Leone Selection Trust many years ago.

  • Thank you. Can you give us an approximation of the distance, or travelling time, from Kono to Buedu?

  • Well, distance and travelling time are two completely different concepts in Sierra Leone. The mileage from Buedu to Tongo Field is in the neighbourhood of 80 kilometres. The distance from Buedu to Kono by road is about 125 kilometres, but it really depends on the conditions of the roads the amount of time it would take you to get there.

  • Thank you. I am finished with that document, thank you, Madam Usher. Sir, since you submitted your report to the Court, have you subsequently obtained some figures of diamond production in Sierra Leone post-war in the last few years?

  • Yes, there are some figures in my report and I have some more up-to-date figures as well. I have figures in the report for 2004 and 2005 and I also have figures for 2006 and 2007.

  • Is that for all of 2007?

  • No, as part of the Kimberley process all countries that are members have to submit semi-annual production statistics and quarterly trade statistics and they have to do it within two months of the end of the reference period. So the full figures for 2007 are not yet available, but I have figures for the first three quarters of 2007.

  • What are the figures for 2006?

  • Your Honour, I have to refer to my notes.

  • May the witness refer to some notes that he has?

  • What notes? Is that in the report?

  • No, this is information he obtained subsequent to writing the report.

  • If the Defence have no objection, yes, he may.

  • Well, he has done an update to the report at the end of the report which updated certain of the facts of the report, but if he has done an update in writing on the basis of some notes it is surprising that we haven't been supplied with them even in the last few days.

  • Mr Prosecutor, what is your comment on this?

  • Your Honour, the witness has explained to me over the weekend that as part of his work in the Kimberley process he has obtained these figures for 2006 and 2007. I asked him if he had them and he said - and he was able to ---

  • The question is have these been disclosed to the - these notes been disclosed to the Defence?

  • No, because I obtained them this weekend.

  • Well, we have all - several members of both teams have been in the office this weekend, as is obvious from the names on the register that you have to enter, and the office of the Prosecutor would know that several of us, including myself, were there both on Saturday and Sunday.

  • Mr Prosecutor, if there is an update I would imagine it is one of the tabs here. Is it necessary to refer to these side notes?

  • Your Honour, it is not necessary because it is so recent, but it is not in the tabs either because it was only this weekend we prepared the tabs for your Honours two weeks ago.

  • So, it is not necessary to refer to these then.

  • I can live without it, your Honour, thank you. I will move on.

  • Then please proceed and live without it.

  • Thank you. Thank you.

  • I want to switch then, sir, to a different subject, which is armed shipments referred to in the panel of expert report that you and the rest of the panel presented to the Security Council. First can you remind us how the panel, or explain to us how the panel, worked? Did you all work together on each subject and each visit, or how was that done?

  • We worked together as a team, all five of us, on some things, and on some visits in other cases we worked independently, although in most cases we tried to make sure that there were at least two panel members present for any particular interview.

  • And how was the report written?

  • We kept notes as we went along. I was the only native English speaker on the team and so I did a lot of the drafting, but it was based - it was based on a team effort. So, you know, my particular expertise was in the diamond area. Others had expertise in air traffic control. So they would either present notes, or we would discuss it, I would write sections of the report and the team would vet it.

  • Are you familiar with the situation at the time that the panel was named regarding United Nations arms embargoes affecting Sierra Leone and Liberia?

  • And what was that situation?

  • There was a complete arms embargo on Liberia. The arms embargo on Sierra Leone was an embargo on any arms to any party, or any - well, I guess any party except the government of Sierra Leone.

  • Thank you. In the report you mention an individual by the name of Leonid Minin, is that correct?

  • Can you tell us what information you obtained about who this individual is?

  • Leonid Minin is an arms salesman and many other things combined. He imported weapons to Liberia. He had a plane - an aircraft - that he used and brought to Liberia and flew to various parts of the region. He has subsequently to all of this been arrested several times and been charged with various crimes, including passport fraud and a number of other things - drugs.

  • Could we have the spelling of this individual's name, please, or at least a reference in the report to this name?

  • First would you spell the name, sir?

  • Leonid, L-e-o-n-i-d. Minin, M-i-n-i-n.

  • I would now direct your Honours and the witness to the MFI-4. That is the panel of expert report which is on tab 4. It is tab 4 in paragraph 208 and the following paragraphs beginning on Page 36.

  • Should I have a copy of this?

  • Yes, if the Usher could give the MFI-4 on tab 4 to the witness, please, page 36.

  • Yes, indeed, the witness should be able to refer to MFI-4. Do you have a copy, sir?

  • No. Well I have my own copy, but I don't have the --

  • Court management, please.

  • Could Counsel guide as to which tab?

  • Tab 4 and it is MFI-4.

  • That will be page 36 of tab 4.

  • Yes, thank you, your Honour.

  • Now do you have it in front of you, Mr Witness?

  • Thank you. Now in paragraph 209 you discuss - in some of the other paragraphs, but particularly 209 you discuss the various flights of this aircraft, a BAC111, owned by Minin. Can you tell us what the source of your information was to the extent that you can disclose it?

  • There were two sources. We were put on to this plane and this individual and this set of arms by the Angola expert panel, which had recorded the fact that a large shipment of arms had gone to Burkina Faso. That was already known when our panel began to investigate this, but we wanted to find out what actually happened to the weapons. It was not only that weapons had arrived in Burkina Faso. Until we got into it, it was only an allegation that they had moved further into Liberia.

    Basically our air traffic control expert went to Spain and reviewed flight logs. Where Spanish dates are mentioned he had been to Spain and viewed the flight logs for this particular aircraft. Where the flight logs - where the airport is Bobo Dioulasso, or Ouagadougou, again he saw the flight records in those places. There were no flight - there was no flight data, no flight logs whatsoever available to the panel in Liberia, but we saw the details on these flights from the other countries.

  • Did you have any other source of information regarding these flights and what they were used for?

  • Yes, we spoke to one of the crew members.

  • In the report and in paragraph 208 you talk about a 68 tonne shipment of weapons or ammunition that went to Ouagadougou with Burkina Faso end user certificate, is that correct?

  • Were you able to document flights that then carried those weapons, or parts of them - weapons and ammunition to Liberia?

  • How many flights did you document that plane making in March of 1999 from Burkina Faso to Liberia?

  • In paragraph 209 we say that on March 15th the plane flew from Monrovia to Ouagadougou:

    "On 16 March the plane was loaded with weapons and flew back to Liberia. On the 17th, it returned to Ouagadougou. After a flight to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, the plane flew again from Ouagadougou to Liberia with weapons on the 19th." That is two flights. "On the 25th the plane flew again from Liberia to Ouagadougou and returned on the same day with weapons." That is three. "On the 27th the plane flew again to Ouagadougou and --"

  • The witness is requested to please slow down for the sake of the record.

  • I am sorry:

    "On the 25th the plane flew again from Liberia to Ouagadougou and returned on the same day with weapons. On the 27th the plane flew again to Ouagadougou and from there to Bobo Dioulasso for the weapons that had been trucked there. The aircraft made three flights over the next three days between Bobo Dioulasso and Liberia. On 31 March the plane flew back to Spain." I believe that is six flights.

  • Did you obtain any photographs of that plane and the cargo it was carrying during these flights?

  • Did you bring those photographs to The Hague with you?

  • Court Officer, these are on tab - your Honours' copies are on tab 19, the last tab. Madam Court Officer, perhaps since these appear to be original photographs if they can be shown first to the Defence before being shown to the witness. Would your Honours like to see them before or after they are shown to the witness?

  • It is always after. Mr Prosecutor, would you like these photographs marked for identification?

  • Yes, thank you.

  • Or are you going to tender them into evidence directly?

  • Perhaps first we will mark them for identification and there are four of them, your Honour. I will describe each one so that they get a separate number and description. My suggestion is that we mark them next in order I believe that is 10, but 10A, B - 11, excuse me. 11A, B, C and D.

  • Are these the same photographs that appear under the tab 19?

  • Because these are not all photographs of an aircraft. Some of them appear to be photographs of a building, or buildings.

  • I think your Honour is correct. Just the wing of the aircraft is visible in the last photograph at the top.

  • What about the third photograph? It is a photograph of a building.

  • I have a photograph of an interior of an aircraft. The fourth photograph is a photograph of the air - of a building, where the wing of the aircraft is visible at the top. These are the photographs that were given to the witness.

  • So, the photographs under the tab 19 are marked for identification as MFI --

  • MFI-11, your Honour, A, B, C and D.

  • Yes, A, B, C and D respectively.

  • [MFI-11A to D admitted]

  • Could counsel please indicate which is A and the order?

  • A is the photograph of what appears to be the back of an airplane where the entire aircraft is visible.

  • Could I suggest that the order in which they appear in our folders is the order in which we will number them.

  • Yes, that is what I was doing. Thank you.

  • The first photograph I don't know what it is, it looks like a number of seats or the interior of something, will be A. It is followed by a photograph of the exterior of a plane - a reddish plane - and that will be B. Then the next photograph is predominantly a building, but with the underbelly of what appears to be an aircraft. That will be C. Then the last photograph, I am afraid I can't work out what it is, will be D.

  • Your Honour, we have two interiors of the plane and I wonder which one is your A and which one is your D? I had already taken them out of my plastic folder when you started numbering them and so I don't know.

  • Let me refer to these pages by the official Court Management page numbers.

  • Certainly, thank you.

  • Number A is page 0001171. That is number

  • Then 1172 is number B, 1173 is number C and 1174 is number D. Please proceed, Mr Prosecutor.

  • Mr Smillie, can you please go through each of these photographs and - well, first can you tell me where the panel obtained these photographs to the extent you can disclose that information?

  • We obtained them from one of the crew members of the plane.

  • By the way, this plane that we are talking about, did it have any association with the Accused in this case, Charles Taylor, from the information you received?

  • Yes. The aircraft you can see on the one showing the full aircraft, 1172, you can see the call letters of the plane on the side. It is more clear in the original photographs. "VPCLM", those are the call letters of the aircraft. The aircraft is registered in the Cayman Islands. Ironically, the symbol on the tail of the plane is from the Seattle Supersonics. It was used by the baseball team - by the basketball team for sometime before it found its way to West Africa. Mr Taylor told us when we interviewed him, when the panel interviewed him, that --

  • Could you please display one photograph at a time. The photograph the witness was referring to is 1172. If you could enlarge it and make sure that we can see. Remove that bright light, whatever it is.

  • It is reflecting off the plastic. So this photograph shows the body of the aircraft, and here on the engine you will see the call letters of the aircraft: "VPCLM". As I said, that was a plane registered in the Cayman Islands and leased to Leonid Minin, or leased or owned by Leonid Minin. Mr Taylor told us that Leonid Minin had come to Liberia with this aircraft wanting to sell it as a Presidential jet, but that the cost was too high for Liberia. He had taken a few trips on it, but basically Minin had taken it back. Would you like me to move on to the --

  • Let me just ask if your Honours would like to take go through these photographs, or take the break now, whichever is most convenient for your Honours?

  • There is no break until one o'clock.

  • I am sorry, I thought it was 12.30. Thank you.

  • Please continue, sir.

  • If there are more questions about this picture, I am happy to answer them.

  • No, please go to the next photograph.

  • Is the witness going to take us through each picture?

  • Because then he might as well start with the first picture, number A. MFI-11A.

  • The BAC111, that is the type of aircraft this is, does not have a huge cargo capacity. It is essentially an executive jet and we were told that it could not possibly carry any weapons. It could not be used for weapons transfers. In fact, the reason that the plane required so many trips was precisely that, it didn't have a heavy lifting capacity, but these pictures show that there are crates on the seats and under the seats and what I think are boxes of ammunition on the seats as well. This is essentially how the cargo was transferred from Burkina Faso to Liberia.

  • As far as what is in the crates and the items with the plastic around them that are on the seats in this photograph, did you receive any information from the crew about what that contained?

  • We were told that it was ammunition and weapons.

  • Can you go to the next photograph. Following the order that would be the photograph of the runway and - well, the building that is depicted.

  • As I said earlier, some of the flights were from Ouagadougou and some were from Bobo Dioulasso. Some of the weapons had been trucked to Bobo Dioulasso. We understood that they were all to have been shipped there so that it wouldn't be so easy to trace them, but only half of them had actually been moved there. So, all of these photographs that we are looking at now were actually taken at Bobo Dioulasso airport. That is a picture of the wing of the aircraft overhead of the name of the airport building there.

  • And again the person that gave you - the crew member that gave you - these photographs, did he indicate that this is the same aircraft?

  • The same aircraft and these flights during March 1999.

  • Going to the last photograph ---

  • I am sorry, Mr Prosecutor. Did I hear the witness say that all four photographs were taken at Bobo Dioulasso airport?

  • That is what we were told.

  • By the crew member of the aircraft who took the pictures.

  • So, the panel didn't take the pictures?

  • And again these are - we are talking about March 1999, is that correct?

  • Approximately a year-and-a-half before your panel was working?

  • Going to the last photograph, can you just describe that? The one that ends in the ERN number "P0001174"

  • Well, again, these are wooden crates that are strapped down with seat belts onto the seats of this aircraft. There is Cyrillic lettering visible on some of the boxes and we were told that these were weapons.

  • For the record, Bobo Dioulasso is in which country?

  • It is in Burkina Faso.

  • Did you receive any information from individuals in Burkina Faso about these flights, or their cargo?

  • We received the flight details. All of the flight details that I referred to earlier and the ones that are in our report were - if they were flights from Burkina Faso, we received them from the air traffic authorities in Burkina Faso.

  • Thank you. I am done with the photographs and perhaps these originally obtained photographs can be shown to your Honours now.

  • Thank you. Please proceed.

  • Sir, did you receive any information about this shipment from the country of Ukraine?

  • As I said earlier, the shipment had been identified by the Angola panel of experts. Members of our panel did go to Ukraine to verify what had been - what had been reported by the Angola panel, so we did receive information from the government of Ukraine as well.

  • Did the government of Ukraine indicate what the either weight or value of those weapons was?

  • I don't think they told us anything about the value, I don't recall that, but the weight was 68 tonnes and the end user certificate was for Burkina Faso.

  • I would now like to refer and direct your Honours to paragraph 211 of tab 4, again page 36, and this is MFI-4.

  • Sir, did the panel also document a shipment of weapons in December 1998?

  • What was the route of those weapons?

  • Those moved from Niamey to Liberia.

  • And Niamey is in which country?

  • It is the capital of Niger.

  • Did you determine when in 1998 these weapons came to Liberia?

  • In our report we said that there were two trips in December 1998.

  • And what date were those trips on?

  • Both flights took place on December 22nd 1998.

  • Are you familiar with the invasion of Freetown in January 1999?

  • I know of it, yes.

  • Do you know the date that rebel forces entered Freetown?

  • I think it was - was it January, 9th? 6th, or 9th.

  • Okay, thank you. Your report also mentions - I will now direct everyone's attention to paragraph 233 of the same document, which is on page 39. Did the report discuss an individual by the name of Victor Bout?

  • Yes, it is usually pronounced Boot. Victor Boot.

  • Thank you. Who is Victor Bout, or what information did you have about him?

  • Victor Bout is a fairly well-known arms dealer of Russian origin. According to our information he was born in Tajikistan, but certainly born in the former Soviet Union. He built up a very large air cargo capacity in the 1990s, had many companies registered in various places and was known to be moving weapons to a wide number of conflict areas. He was widely reported and documented in the Angola expert panel report.

  • Did you document any connection between Mr bout and this shipment in December 1998?

  • There is a lot of sort of interconnections between a number of airlines owned by him and their registry under the Liberian Air Registry Authority. In paragraph 233 we talk about arms deliveries from Europe to Liberia; four shipments on an Antonov aircraft that was either owned or leased to him.

  • Did you document any connection between Mr bout and an individual by the name of Mr Ruprah?

  • Yes, the connections between a lot of these people were I suppose in a sense anecdotal. You have to remember that we were working --

  • I would like to ask the Prosecutor to spell that name that you just said, please.

  • R-u-p-r-a-h and the first name is Sanjivan: S-a-n-j-i-v-a-n.

  • Please proceed with your testimony, Mr Smillie.

  • Yes, the information we had came from a variety of sources. You will recall that the war was ongoing at this time and the situation was very dangerous for some of our informants. When we spoke to people in Liberia obviously there was some hostility towards us, or some great fear of speaking openly to us about things.

    We have documented, I think, some connections between Victor Bout and Sanjivan Ruprah. Sanjivan Ruprah travelled on a Liberian passport under another name entirely, Samir Nasr. The information that we based our findings on came from a variety of sources for this. In some cases it came from intelligence sources. In other cases it came from people who were in the aircraft business.

  • Did you find any connection - you mentioned in paragraph 234 regarding these transactions an individual by the name of Gus Kouwenhoven and perhaps I will try to spell that using the spelling at least in the panel report, K-o-u-w-e-n-h-o-v-e-n. Who was Mr Kouwenhoven?

  • Mr Kouwenhoven was a hotelier. He had a hotel in Monrovia and other businesses. He was very involved in the timber export business and we understood that he was directly involved in arms shipments as well. Mr Kouwenhoven has since been tried for war crimes and is now --

  • Well, sir, let us leave that - those other proceedings. Sir, going back to Mr Kouwenhoven, you mentioned Mr Minin. Did Mr Kouwenhoven own a hotel?

  • He operated a hotel. I don't know whether he owned it, or not, but he was the manager of it.

  • Which hotel was that?

  • I am sorry, I don't recall the name. I think it was the Hotel Africa.

  • In Monrovia.

  • Do you know where Mr. Minin stayed when he was in Monrovia?

  • As far as I know, he stayed there.

  • Sir, I would now like to move - I am finished with this document for the time being. I would now like to move to the panel's trip to Liberia. Did you go to Liberia?

  • What was the dates of your trip to Liberia?

  • October 4th, 5th and 6th 2000.

  • And were you yourself part of the group that went to Monrovia?

  • By the way, when you arrived in Monrovia who did you speak to?

  • Most of our visit was organised by the United Nations representative in Monrovia based on our requests for meetings.

  • And we were met at the aircraft, at the airport, by the United Nations.

  • Who did you meet with in Liberia? What types of officials, or other persons?

  • We met with several cabinet ministers. We met with President Taylor at the end of our visit, but we met with several cabinet ministers. We met with the air traffic control authority. We met with church leaders. We met with Lebanese community leaders and diamond dealers. We met with diplomats based in Monrovia - there weren't very many, but we met a couple - NGOs and a couple of Liberian journalists. I think that is it.

  • When the panel arrived, had there been any coverage in the media about your trip?

  • Yes, it was widely covered. It was covered by the Liberian press and it was also covered internationally. I recall being in a jeep hearing the BBC World Service telling us that we were on our way to a certain meeting.

  • Where were you listening to that broadcast?

  • In a jeep, on the shortwave radio.

  • You were in which country at that time?

  • In Liberia. In Monrovia.

  • Do you recall any other media reports, or newspaper articles, that were memorable from when you arrived in Monrovia?

  • There were a couple. One was an article which accused - I think there might have been more than one, but there was at least one that accused the panel of being there to concoct facts, that we were there to impose sanctions on Liberia and that the whole thing was a done deal. I recall another newspaper article that struck me as interesting at the time and that reported that Sam Bockarie, who was kind of I guess a celebrity in Monrovia, had been seen boarding a helicopter on its way to Foya. He was hitching a ride, I think they said, on a helicopter going to Foya in the northwest of Liberia.

  • Now you mentioned that you had a meeting with the Accused, President Taylor, is that correct?

  • Where did that meeting take place?

  • In his office at the Presidential mansion.

  • Who was present for the meeting?

  • There were the five panel members, the United Nations resident representative, Mr Taylor and I don't recall who else was there. There may have been two or three other people who were not introduced to us. When we went in there were some media there, but they left before the substantive discussions began.

  • Did you take some notes of that meeting?

  • Did you subsequently type those notes up?

  • Did you include the typed-up notes in the annex to your report to the Court in this case?

  • Your Honour, I was referring to MFI-9, which is tab 1. It is found - annex 2 is found on page 25.

  • I am sorry, what is the annex number?

  • It is tab 1, but page 25 is called annex 2. Page 25 of the report.

  • That would be Annex 2, is that the one you are referring to?

  • Annex 2 to the report of Mr Smillie?

  • That is correct.

  • Can you tell us generally about the tone of the meeting that you had with the Accused?

  • It was formal, but it was not unfriendly.

  • Were any of his aids or other persons besides the panel members present?

  • There were other people in the room, but we sat in a row of chairs facing the President and there were people behind us who were not introduced and so I don't know how many were there, or who they were.

  • Was there any media at any point in the meeting?

  • The media were there when we entered the room and when we shook hands and were introduced, and then they left before we started any discussion.

  • And just to be clear did you arrange for the media, the panel, or --

  • Now in your notes you discuss a question that was asked to President Taylor about a meeting he had with the US Under Secretary of State, Thomas Pickering, is that correct?

  • Had you received some information about that meeting?

  • We had been told in a previous visit with the United States ambassador to Liberia that the US Under Secretary of State for Africa, Thomas Pickering, had met with Taylor on July, 17th and told - and he had told Mr Taylor that he had seen evidence that Mr Taylor was trafficking in stolen diamonds. We raised this issue and Mr Taylor said that this was blatantly untrue. It was not clear to me whether it was blatantly untrue that he was trafficking in diamonds, or untrue that this is what had been raised by Mr Pickering.

  • Did you ask, or one of the members of the panel ask, a question to the Accused about the Liberian import figures for imports of diamonds from Sierra Leone which exceeded Sierra Leone - excuse me, from Liberia which exceeded Liberia's production capacity?

  • Do you mean the Belgian figures?

  • Yes, sorry.

  • Yes, I asked the question. I asked Mr Taylor what he made of these very large import figures of diamonds from Liberia into Belgium.

  • And what was his response?

  • He said, "You tell me". He said that was our job. He said he didn't know what to make of it. Liberia's name was being misused. He said that it was possible - highly probable is what he said - that there were RUF diamonds coming through Liberia, but he did not know anything about it.

  • Sir, could you please speak a little bit more slowly.

  • You indicated that he referred to the RUF diamonds. Can you repeat what he said about that?

  • He said that it was possible, or highly probable is what he said, that the RUF were dealing in diamonds and that some of them might be coming through Liberia, but he said this was not official and he didn't know anything about it. He said the borders were very porous and he had no control over this. He suggested that some of the diamonds that might be coming through Liberia could have been Russian diamonds.

  • By the way, based on your expertise is that true; that some of the diamonds going through Liberia could have been Russian diamonds?

  • Yes, we discussed this at length in the panel report.

  • Just to explain to your Honours, what motive would there be to route these diamonds through other countries?

  • This is a fairly complicated - a fairly complicated - business. De Beers had an arrangement, a contract, with Alrosa, the Russian diamond - the big Russian diamond mining and exporting company, at this time to buy all of their diamonds. What the Russian government was doing was allocating a significant portion of their production to Russian cutters and polishers for use in Russia. Some of these diamonds were being smuggled out of Russia