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

Thank you, Madam Justice. The ultimate objectives in Sierra Leone were basically twofold: The first was to gain control over the territory and the population of Sierra Leone. That was important for a variety of reasons but that was the objective. And why was it important? It was important because once you have control over territory, then you can launch attacks from that territory. Once you have control over the people and territory of a country, you can exercise political, economic and other power within the country. You can use those people as your resources, as Mr Taylor through his proxy forces did, having them as forced labour, forcibly recruiting them into the armed groups. So these were the motives, if you will, although motive is not relevant, but these were the reasons behind the ultimate objective of control over the people and territory of Sierra Leone.

Another very important result of gaining control over the people and territory of Sierra Leone was the other ultimate objective of the joint criminal enterprise, and that was the ability to pillage the resources of Sierra Leone, in particular the diamonds, and Mr Koumjian will speak to you on that matter. But if we think about it, it makes absolute sense that diamonds would be the real focus of the pillage because they are so easy to move about, they are so small and so easy to hide upon yourself or hide in any way to move about. And even today with all the controls, they are very easy to put out there into the public market, and they are very, very good source of income. So those were the two objectives, the ultimate objectives, control the people and population of Sierra Leone through force, and to pillage the resources, in particular the diamonds of Sierra Leone.

If we may now -- Oh, excuse me. Yes, your Honour.

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