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

Good afternoon, your Honours. Thank you.

Your Honours, Sierra Leone has long been known for both the quantity and quality of its diamonds, and the evidence in this case has shown that diamonds played an increasingly important part in the conflict in Sierra Leone over the course of the war. Evidence has shown that as early as 1992, Charles Taylor received diamonds from the RUF and Foday Sankoh, but there - the evidence is also clear that Taylor began to taste the real sweetness of the diamonds after the junta took power in the May 1997 coup. And at that time, when the RUF was brought into the junta government, those combined forces were mining in Tongo and in Kono, and diamonds were going to Taylor. After the 1998, December 1998 offensive culminating in the attack on Freetown, the RUF as I had mentioned this morning, took Kono, took Tongo Fields and now controlled the diamond fields and increasingly Charles Taylor was benefiting from the diamonds of Sierra Leone, particularly the most productive time for the RUF/AFRC forces was during the time of Issa Sesay, when the RUF was the most organised and had machinery sent from Liberia that it was able to increase the diamond production.

One of the witnesses who testified before your Honours was Ibrahim Fofanah. He testified he was an amputee from Kono, and he - also his family was burned to death in a house. He also appeared on a video that we played the very first day of this trial from a documentary, "Blood Diamonds" and I'd like to play an excerpt from that video where Ibrahim Fofanah talks about the effect those diamonds had.

This is an excerpt from P-14.

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