1 Tuesday, 9 July 2002
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon Commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone. I expect
6 Mr. Piletta-Zanin to be back in a second, but I thought we could perhaps
7 already start with Mr. Kovacs. Madam Registrar, could you please call the
9 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-29-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Stanislav Galic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 The Prosecution has requested to deal with the documents to be
13 tendered during the examination of the last witness after the return of
14 Mr. Ierace. So we will deal with that in due course.
15 May I take it that the Prosecution is ready to call its next
17 MR. STAMP: Indeed, I have so been informed, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam usher can you please escort the witness into
19 the courtroom. I take it it is Mr. Kovacs
20 MR. STAMP: I think the Court has already been informed but there
21 would be the name for a Hungarian interpreter.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We were informed about that and it is the same
23 interpreter that assisted the last Dutch witness.
24 MR. STAMP: Very versatile.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: VILMOS KOVACS
2 [Witness answered through interpreter
3 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Kovacs, I take it. Before giving
4 testimony in this court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you
5 to make a solemn declaration that you will speak the truth, the whole
6 truth and nothing but the truth. The text of the solemn declaration will
7 be handed out to the interpreter. If you understand and can speak enough
8 English to do it in the English language, fine. If not, we will ask the
9 interpreter to translate it for you.
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
11 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Dr. Kovacs.
13 Ms. Bodor, you made already the solemn declaration during the
14 testimony of the last witness. May I then remind you, that you are still
15 bound by the declaration you gave when translating for General Van Baal.
16 Then there is no need to repeat that. Please be seated. Please be
17 seated. When Mr. Stamp has restructured his desk, he may proceed.
18 MR. STAMP: My apologies for the disturbance.
19 Examined by Mr. Stamp:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel.
21 Colonel, I am going to ask you to take whatever documents you
22 brought away from in front of you from the time being.
23 Is your name -- or could you please tell us your name, please.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is asking me whether the interpreter
25 will take his interpretation directly.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dr. Vilmos Kovacs.
2 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't understand. Ms. Bodor, I didn't understand
3 the last question. You said it was --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The witness was asking me whether he could speak
5 now. He was asking a question to the translator.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I now better do understand what you meant.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. Dr. Kovac --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Dr. Kovacs are you able to read and understand English to some
15 A. I can read English and I understand some English.
16 MR. STAMP: With your leave, Mr. President, I ask that he be
17 handed a copy of the report filed on the 14th of May and it is now
18 designated Exhibit P3725.
19 JUDGE ORIE: May I --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, please. The witness would like to
21 hear his own interpretation and apparently the headset is not working.
22 JUDGE ORIE: The headset is not working. On what channel are we?
23 In what language would he like to hear his words being interpreted?
24 THE INTERPRETER: In Hungarian.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether we provide for that. If he
1 speaks Hungarian, it will be translated in another language. But when he
2 speaks English, he is speaking one of the official languages of the
3 Tribunal. Since the Hungarian translation would only, for the benefit of
4 the witness, and would not be put down apart from -- not even on the --
5 not even on the live channel. Yes.
6 Please proceed. If there is any difficulty. If you say when
7 English words or used or if you want to express yourself in English or
8 even French, if you have any doubt on whether you do understand or whether
9 you express yourself in the right way, please ask for the assistance of
10 the interpreters or my intervention, if necessary. Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
12 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Dr. Kovacs, I see you have taken the opportunity to peruse a
14 document that has just been handed. Have you had an opportunity before
15 now to peruse a copy of that English document?
16 A. Yes, I have had the opportunity to look through the document.
17 Q. Does it contain a one-page resume of your training and experience
18 in artillery matters including the purpose effectiveness and operation of
20 THE INTERPRETER: Do you mean the first page?
21 MR. STAMP: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have. I have seen it.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. And after that first page, does it contain thereafter your report
25 translated into English, from Hungarian into English?
1 A. Yes. I have read through the document which is in front of me at
2 the moment.
3 Q. Having read through it, are there any changes which you would like
4 to make to make the document more completely accurate?
5 A. Yes. I think that a few changes are necessary.
6 MR. STAMP: With your leave, Mr. President and Your Honours, may I
7 quickly go through that aspect?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do
9 so. Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, one thing
11 only. Could we have -- I do not think we have this document which was
12 distributed. Could we have it in Hungarian, that is, a copy with the
13 author's signature, with the witness's signature.
14 MR. STAMP: I can make a copy available to my friends at the next
15 break. I must confess that I have never used the Hungarian copy. We
16 filed the English copy and I am in the process now of having it
17 authenticated, the document which was filed.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You seek to tender the English version of the
19 document and not any Hungarian.
20 MR. STAMP: Indeed.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't know whether the signature would then
22 still be relevant, but if you would like, you can get a copy from the
23 Prosecution during the next break. Yes. Please proceed.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. Would you have a look at page 3 of this document.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Line 16 of page 3 which begins with the word, "light."
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is there anything about that line which you would ask to change?
5 A. Yes. I would like to change it because I think this was probably
6 a misprint or typing error rather. The correct figure is 105 millimetre.
7 Q. On the same page, the 8th line --
8 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: I am sorry, Mr. Stamp. Could you read the
9 line as it is after the amendment.
10 MR. STAMP: I am grateful, Your Honour. I think that would be
11 more precise.
12 Q. I take it from your last answer that the line would read: "Light
13 37 to 105 millimetre."
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Please, if you will, have a look at the 8th line counting from the
16 bottom of the said page.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is there anything that you would like to change in that line?
19 A. Yes. I think there was a problem with the translation here.
20 Bazooka as a word is not correct. I would like to change it for anti-tank
22 Q. So, therefore the sentence would read, I take it from the number 2
23 on the page: "Choosing the most appropriate devise for the demolition of
24 the target, which includes the type of artillery device that was involved
25 in elimination of the target, with a field artillery cannon, Howitzer,
1 mortar, or anti-aircraft gun."
2 THE WITNESS: Anti-tank.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Thanks for the correction, Dr. Kovacs.
5 Could you have a look at page 4 and the 10th, as well as the 11th
6 line of that page. Is there anything about those lines which you would
7 like to change?
8 A. Yes, there is.
9 Q. Please tell us.
10 A. The correct term in this case could be "direct and indirect fire."
11 Divided aiming should be replaced by that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I have
14 some technical difficulties because I am trying to listen to a channel,
15 read the transcript and help my colleague who is following Serbian. And I
16 am afraid that there is some problem. But every time you give a reference
17 to a document, could you do that also refer to the document in Serbian so
18 that Mr. -- So that General Galic could also follow, find immediately the
19 line that you are talking about and also check it. And thank you very
20 much in advance.
21 MR. STAMP: If it please you, Mr. President, and Your Honours, I
22 am not sure I will be able to do that. But I will do my best to assist.
23 Q. Now, we are speaking about page 4 in the English version the third
24 paragraph of that page. I take it from your last answer that the section
25 or the paragraph would read: "The artillery cannon accomplished the
1 demolition of the targets with direct or indirect fire. During the direct
2 aimed fire, the target is visible from the cannon with optical sights.
3 Indirect fire is used when the target is not visible from the cannon." Is
4 that how it reads?
5 A. That's right. It is correct like that.
6 Q. And if you look in the fourth paragraph of the same page 4 in the
7 penultimate sentence, perhaps it is easier if I read it in English. "This
8 is the most commonly used and most basic type of fuse and is applied to
9 fragmentation shells and mine mortars." That is how it reads. Is there
10 anything you would like to add to there?
11 A. Yes. I would like to change the following: The last term of the
12 sentence should be replaced by "projectiles or shells."
13 Q. When you say the "last term of the sentence," do you mean the last
14 word of the sentence?
15 A. Yes, the last two words of the sentence.
16 Q. For clarification, may I read it to you with this alteration.
17 "This is a most commonly used and the most basic type of fuse and is
18 applied to fragmentation shells and mortar shells or mortar projectiles."
19 A. Yes, this is perfect like that.
20 Q. On the same page, could you have a look at the 11th line from the
21 bottom and that is a line beginning with the word, "projectiles." Is there
22 anything on that line, on the 11th line --
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Since the Prosecution does not
1 quote us the text in Serbian, we need a short pause so that General Galic
2 can locate it. I am looking to my right, but I cannot also look at my
3 back and work at my back. So could you please slow down and thank you
4 very much in advance.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I take it, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, that it is on page 4,
6 approximately just under the middle.
7 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. We found
8 it, but I am not quite sure that General Galic can keep up at this speed.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think we could now proceed. Yes, please
10 proceed, Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. Is there anything on that line which you would like to change or
13 do you think it can remain the same?
14 A. I would like to change something in the sentence. Namely, the
15 term which concerns the fuse and I would like to change it for "delayed
16 fuse" and I would like to replace "delayed fuse" with "time fuse," because
17 this is the correct term.
18 Q. If you would please have a look at page 5. Or before we get to
19 page 5, may I just read that sentence just to confirm the alteration. And
20 I take it now that it should read "Projectiles assembled with timed fuses
21 are used for the destruction of troops, field and permanent offensive
22 structures and buildings."
23 A. Yes, this is correct like that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I know so that we do not have
1 to repeat it over and over again, I think that "fuse" actually means
2 rather "detonateur" than "fusee". This is my humble opinion. If that is
3 correct, would you please take note of it.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes this is a matter of translation English/French in
5 a very technical matter which I could not -- so the, I take it,
6 Mr. Piletta-Zanin, your suggestion is whether the French interpreters with
7 the English/French interpretation would consider fuses to be translated as
8 "detonateur". Yes, if from your professional point of view you would
9 agree, I take it, it would be done.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
12 Q. I take you now, Dr. Kovacs, to the 5th line of the 5th page. The
13 sentence beginning with these words: "Projectiles assembled with delayed
14 fuses are used primarily against." And that is the first line. Is there
15 anything in that sentence which you would like to change?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Have you found it? Yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, similarly to the previous
18 change, "time fuse" is the correct term instead of "delayed fuse."
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. So I take it now the sentence would read: "Projectiles assembled
21 with time fuses are used primarily" and it goes on.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I take it that it is on page 4 for you, the 6th
23 line -- the 5th line from the bottom.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. On the same page, on the 16th line counting from the bottom of the
2 page, there is a sentence starting out "A delayed shell exploding above a
3 target appears," and it goes on. Is there anything about that line that
4 you would like to change?
5 A. Yes, there is. I would like to replace "delayed shell" by
6 "time-fused shell."
7 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that it is line 16, page 5, for the
9 Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. And therefore the start of the sentence should read: "A
12 time-fused shell exploding above the target appears" and so on.
13 A. Yes, perfect like that.
14 Q. If I could now, sir, take you to page 10 and line 6 thereof. Is
15 there anything in that line would you would ask to change?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we please give time for the Defence to find
17 this because --
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Six. Is it from the top or
19 from the bottom?
20 MR. STAMP: From the top of the page.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. Is there anything in that line that you would ask to change, sir?
24 A. Yes, there is. Just like we changed the term previously. Here
25 again "delayed fuse" must be replaced by "time fuse."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And therefore the sentence would read or would start:
2 "Illumination rounds are activated with delayed fuses during the
3 descending," and it goes on --
4 A. That is correct. "Delayed fuse" is the wrong term.
5 Q. I am grateful for the assistance. The sentence would read:
6 "Illumination" rounds are activated with time fuses during the descending
7 part of the trajectory."
8 A. It is correct like that.
9 Q. Could you have a look now on the same page, 10 lines up from the
10 bottom of the page. Is there --
11 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is page 8, seventh line from the bottom.
12 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] We have it, Mr. President.
13 But directly speaking, if Mr. Stamp could also just tell us the very first
14 words of the sentence, that would really save us a lot of time for the
15 future. Thank you.
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. Page 10, 10 lines up from the bottom, the very first words being
18 "by shooting illumination." Is there anything in that sentence that you
19 would ask to change?
20 A. Yes, there is. At the end of the sentence after "and." The very
21 last answer, "...and also to disturb their armour piercing projectiles."
22 This is not correct so we have to take this bit out of the sentence.
23 Q. What bit? If you could quote it exactly what should be taken out.
24 A. "...and also to disturb their armour piercing projectiles."
25 Q. And what should it be replaced with?
1 A. The last word of the sentence would be "instruments" and then full
3 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] For the transcript, I am not
6 sure that I understood. I must admit it says the very last answer, and I
7 am not sure what it actually means. Is that an erroneous usage or is that
8 an "and" that was written as answer? So could please the witness repeat
9 so that we can have a clarification, please.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin, it is not replaced. The part
11 taken out is not replaced by any words. So the last part of the sentence
12 would just be deleted. I hear the witness confirms this. Yes.
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. But I did
14 not understand what it said in the transcript, line 21. What was it
15 referring to in terms of saying "the very last answer." So that is what I
16 was saying. This is line 21 of page 12.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I think the witness was referring to the last part of
18 the answer, of the line. I think there is no confusion. He wants to take
19 out that part. Yes, please proceed.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. So if I may, for clarification, re-read or read the sentence in
22 accordance with your instructions: "By shooting illumination rounds, it
23 is also possible to blind enemies observation posts and electro-optical
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Please, if you will, have a look at page 12 and the 15th line from
2 the top beginning with "Apply the most accurate procedure."
3 JUDGE ORIE: I take it everyone found it. Please proceed, Mr.
5 MR. STAMP:
6 Q. The line as it is now reads, "Apply the most accurate procedure
7 determining the elements of the effective fire." Is there anything about
8 that line which you would like to change?
9 A. Yes, there is. There is a word in the sentence. "Effective
10 fire." I would like to replace "effective" by "artillery fire."
11 Q. Could you now have a look at page 16. The second line on that
12 page, the sentence beginning, "A 2 gram piece of shrapnel is sufficient to
13 kill a man."
14 A. Yes. There is one thing I would like to change in this sentence
15 as well. I would like to replace "shrapnel" by "fragmentation effect". I
16 am sorry. I think we don't need "effect" in this case. We just need
18 Q. In other words the sentence would read: "A 2 gram piece of
19 fragmentation is sufficient to kill a man."
20 A. Yes. This is going to be correct like that.
21 MR. STAMP: I could perhaps move on, Mr. President, Your Honours.
22 I don't know if I could perhaps ask the witness -- I don't think it would
23 be leading I will proceed to ask the witness.
24 Q. Will you use the word "fragment" instead of "fragmentation"?
25 A. In this sentence, the most important thing is that even "a 2 gram
1 piece of fragment is capable of killing." This is the correct version.
2 Q. Thank you. So it could therefore read: "A 2 gram piece of
3 fragment is sufficient to kill a man"?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And on the 6th line from the top of that page, the line beginning
6 with the word, "increased," and reads on "since the shrapnel may bounce up
7 or ricochet." Is there anything about that line that you would like to
9 A. Yes, there is. In this sentence too, "shrapnel" should be
10 replaced by "fragment".
11 Q. And could you now have a look at page 22, the 5th line up from the
12 bottom reading "120 millimetre M-75, etc." Is there anything that should
13 be changed there?
14 A. Yes, yes, here again I would like to change something. There is a
15 problem here. Because there are two similar types of launchers, M-75 and
16 M-74. And since we are talking about launchers, the "M-74" is missing
17 from the text.
18 Q. This 120 millimetre M-74 or M-75, is it a launcher or is it a
20 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Stamp, repeat the question, please.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President I apologise, but
22 this is not a problem with interpretation, although there is an
23 interference with the microphones so the French booth was not able to get
24 the translation, so I don't know whether they were not able to interpret
25 it. I don't know what is the problem, but I believe that the microphone
1 of the English booth is open. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stamp, you have been asked to repeat the
4 MR. STAMP: May I instead, rephrase it?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you want to.
6 MR. STAMP:
7 Q. You said the 120 millimetre M-74 should also be there. Where
8 should it be exactly on this page?
9 A. I think it is the printing. I think it is in the wrong place.
10 This is a printing error. Because we are talking about a mortar.
11 Q. Could you explain to us how that part of the page should read?
12 A. Naturally, there is a list of mortars here and there are three
13 different sizes, if you like. And this is where we should add as number 4
14 the one that I have just mentioned.
15 Q. And which one is that?
16 JUDGE ORIE: May I -- do I -- do I understand well that you should
17 follow 82 millimetres M-68?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, exactly. That's where it
19 should be and it should be number 4.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
21 Q. Could you have a look finally at page 25. I beg your pardon. Not
22 finally, almost finally. Page 25 line 6 from the top, the line reading:
23 "One gun layer." Is there anything you would like to change about that
25 A. Yes. Yes, the term is not correct. According to Hungarian
1 terminology, you should understand "a gun aimer." So the correct word
2 would be "aimer".
3 Q. And I take it, therefore, the sentence would read: "One gun
5 A. Yes, exactly.
6 Q. Can I take you now to page 26, the first line of that page
7 beginning with --
8 JUDGE NIETO-NAVIA: Mr. President, I think it is the same page,
9 and we are talking about the 120 millimetre mortar.
10 MR. STAMP: I believe, Your Honour, is correct. May I just
11 confirm that with the witness.
12 Q. Can you look in the middle of page 25 under the word -- under the
13 sentence in bold print 120 millimetre mortar, the sentence is "one gun
14 layer." Is there anything there to be changed?
15 A. Yes, exactly as we have done previously. Here again and also in
16 page 26, line 4, instead of "gun layer," we should say "gun aimer," which
17 would be the correct terminology.
18 Q. So both lines are the one that I referred you to and the one you
19 just now referred us to should read "one gun aimer"?
20 MR. STAMP: I am grateful for Your Honours perspicacity and I am
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
23 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, still in order
24 to assist the Prosecution, I believe that we can make the same remark
25 mutandis mutandi at the bottom of page 24, we will find "gun layer." I
1 don't want to disturb Mr. Stamp, but this is just to be absolutely clear.
2 MR. STAMP: And I am also grateful to my learned friend.
3 Q. May I take your attention to that, page 24, the penultimate line,
4 you see the word, the expression, "gun layer." Can I take it that that
5 should be, "gun aimer"?
6 A. Yes. Everywhere in the text there should be "gun aimer," because
7 this is the number one operator.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 Could you have a look at page 26, the first line of that page. Is
10 there anything in that line, and that is the line beginning, "the
11 commander," is there anything in that line that you would ask to change?
12 A. Yes. A change should be made in the sentence as well because the
13 word "cupola" when you are talking about military vehicles is not used and
14 we use the word "turret" instead.
15 Q. In which case I take it, Dr. Kovacs, the sentence should read,
16 "the commander is located in the turret"?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: May I then take it that on the third line, not only
19 on the fourth line of page 26, "gun layer" should also be "gun aimer".
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, naturally.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Could you have a look at page 28 and on the line at the number 1
23 where there is number 1 which reads: "Number of the assembly shop," is
24 there anything there that you think ought to be changed?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in order to
2 understand this perfectly, the French booth just repeated the terms in
3 English and did not translate them which is not what they are supposed to
5 JUDGE ORIE: If we are changing an English text, I can imagine
6 that the interpreters, for the precise wording, are not translating in
7 order to avoid any confusion. If you would need then later on for your
8 better understanding the translation, I am quite sure that the
9 interpreters first having done what they are supposed to do, then will
10 certainly assist you, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. At number 1 on that page, the sentence reads: "Number of the
14 assembly shop." Is there anything there you would like to change?
15 A. Yes, I would like to complete it because it would be more precise
16 if we put "workshop" instead of just "shop".
17 Q. I take it it would read: "Number 1 of the assembly workshop."
18 A. Yes that's correct.
19 Q. And if you have a look at page 29, fifth line down, starting with
20 the word, "assembly" and ending with the word, "shop".
21 A. We should make the same change as previously, and "workshop" would
22 be the correct term.
23 Q. Therefore it would read, "year of the assembly and the number of
24 the assembling base, workshop." Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Back to page 28. As a part numbered 5 on that page, is there
2 anything you would like to change?
3 A. Yes. I think the correct solution would be to say, instead of
4 "level", the word "degree."
5 Q. So you would have that part reading 5, "weight degree of the
7 A. Yes, that would be correct.
8 Q. And at 6 on the same page which reads, "6, mark of explosive
9 smoke," is there anything that you would change? I am asking you to look
10 at page 6 in the text in the middle of the page. Not at page 6. I beg
11 your pardon. At item 6 in the text of page 28, it reads "6, mark of
12 explosive smoke." Is there anything else you would like to change?
13 A. Yes, I think it would be more precise if we said "mark of
14 explosive," and the word "smoke" should be removed.
15 Q. So the --
16 A. Deleted.
17 Q. The section would read: "6 mark of explosive," is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And it says --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
21 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes. I am trying to assist
22 the French booth. It is not audible.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that the French booth cannot
24 hear the translation, yes.
25 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am being
1 told, because I am following the channel, that there is a technical
2 problem with the microphones. I don't know what it is about, but it has
3 been going on throughout.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I will, from now on, follow the French text as well.
5 [Interpretation] Are you able to follow the interpretation, the
6 translation, or is there a technical problem which needs to be taken care
8 [In English] Has the English booth heard the observation by the
9 French booth, that is to put out the microphone once they --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the French -- could the English booth
12 switch off the microphone as soon as they finished their interpretation?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We will then proceed.
15 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. On the same page, same page, page 28, at item 7 in the text at the
17 middle of that page, it reads, "7, mark of smoke forming materiel."
18 I beg your pardon. Sorry. At item 8 in the middle of that page
19 which reads, "8, index of projectile fuse," is there anything there you
20 would ask to change?
21 A. No, no, there is nothing to change.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 I am going to ask you to give us a clarification of what you mean
24 in the first sentence of the last paragraph of the report. That is at
25 page 30. It says here in English, "Finally, I state that the above study
1 was prepared on the basis of the questions asked by a court of law and
2 requires much background information." Could you clarify that, if you
3 can, please?
4 A. Yes, of course. I was asked to write the expert material and this
5 request was transmitted to me by the Court, The Hague, the Tribunal. And
6 I think the word "court of law" that you find in the text is not correct
7 because it is not a court, in fact, but it is the Tribunal who are
8 entrusted to me the writing of this particular report.
9 Q. May I ask you what you mean by "Tribunal"? By "Tribunal" do you
10 mean the Office of the Prosecutor?
11 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] It is quite a leading
14 question, isn't it?
15 JUDGE ORIE: I will put the question to you.
16 Did you understand that you drafted the report for the Office of
17 the Prosecutor of the Tribunal?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, this is not the way I
19 understood my statement.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you then explain to us, if it was not for the
21 Office of the Prosecutor?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have been an expert concerning
23 matters related to artillery materiel and for the International Tribunal
24 in The Hague. And during the course of this work of expertise, I was in
25 touch with the military office in charge of analysis. And it is for them
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that I prepared my expert opinion. And it is in the course of this work
2 that I prepared the expert opinion that you have here.
3 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that there is no dispute between the
4 parties that there is only the Department of Military Analysis in the
5 Office of the Prosecutor in this Tribunal? I am looking to both parties.
6 If the Defence has got one, although not being part of the Prosecution --
7 of the Tribunal. Yes.
8 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is
9 challenged. We have different. But the witness should be allowed to
10 continue and tell us everything, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stamp, may I ask you, did your office invite
12 Mr. Kovacs to write this report?
13 MR. STAMP: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you. Then this issue is dealt with
15 sufficiently. Please proceed.
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. So with those corrections, is the document that you were handed an
18 accurate record of your observations and is it your report?
19 A. Yes. I think that if we take into account the corrections, the
20 report is accurate.
21 Q. May I quickly take you to one or two parts of that report and ask
22 if you would elaborate a little bit more on what you have said there.
23 Earlier you asked us to change the word, "shrapnel" to "fragment."
24 Is there a distinction between fragment and shrapnel?
25 A. Yes, naturally, there is a difference. The effect of the fragment
1 is -- in fact, when you use the word "shrapnel effect," that is an old
2 terminology, and it was not intended for state of the art type of
3 materiel. Shrapnel effect, in fact, is something that you can talk about
4 when you have fragments which are manufactured, prepared, and are inserted
5 into the body of the shell beforehand. I would like to emphasise it once
6 again. So this is the type of ammunition that is linked to a previous
7 period in history if you like; whereas, the fragment effect is a
8 completely different mechanism and this takes place when you fire a shell
9 and as a result of the fuse, the shell will somehow explode. And then the
10 work of the explosives inside, if you like, will simply break apart the
11 body of the shell and there will be thousands and thousands of fragments.
12 And in reality, this is exactly what we are talking about in the
13 present text. And this is the fragment effect of the shell.
14 Q. I would like you to direct your attention to page 16 and 17 of the
15 report in which you made certain references to fuses, types of fuses.
16 Can I take it that a fuse is a part of the shell or a device
17 attached to the shell which is used to detonate it or to cause it to
19 A. Yes. You understood it quite correctly.
20 Q. Thank you. Please go on.
21 A. Because the fuse is -- in every time the fuse is part of the
22 shell. And once the shell reaches the target, the fuse will trigger off
23 the process of detonation.
24 Q. At page 16, the last paragraph there, reading on to page 17, the
25 second paragraph there, you have given various times which may elapse
1 between the contact of the shell with the target and the detonation.
2 Now, are these times, time periods, standard for artillery and
3 mortar rounds in general or are they merely an illustrative?
4 A. The times mentioned in the text are an indication. You should not
5 be considering them as something that would apply to every single fuse.
6 There are three types of fuses that I wanted to explain here. And the
7 time periods are the delay periods. And in this context and in this
8 specific case they are indicative.
9 Q. I take it from that, that for various types of rounds or various
10 individual types of rounds the manufactures may have set specific ranges
11 of time periods for delay in detonation and that the figures you give are
12 not to be sed to apply to every single artillery round?
13 A. Yes, your interpretation is quite correct. There are -- there is
14 a wide variety of artillery fuses. And it is always a question of the
15 target that you want to hit and this is how you select the right kind of
16 fuse. And there again, there are differences between different types of
18 Q. Thank you.
19 In the course of your report you use the expression, "calculated
20 norm." Sometimes you use the expression, "determined norm of ordnance."
21 In particular, I'd like to take you to page 1 of the report. I think that
22 is line 14, beginning with these words or may I just read the relevant
23 passage that I wish to ask about. "With non-observable targets it is not
24 possible to determine the accuracy of the fire. The calculated norm of
25 ordnance must therefore be launched at these types of targets. If we
1 consider the siege of a city, we may speak of observable targets, since
2 the targets shot at should be easily visible with optical instruments.
3 Had it not been so, the determined norm of ordnance should have been
4 fired." And you say, "for example, at 400 metres with a 120 millimetre
5 mine mortar, 100 shells need to be fired at a non-armoured single target."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Also at page 8, the third line from the bottom, third line from
8 the bottom beginning -- or if I may read it: "Meanwhile the targets and
9 the impacts are continuously observed from the commanding observation post
10 and it is deemed necessary. Corrections can be made between the series of
11 shots according to the deviation from targets. On targets in cities that
12 are easily observable from the mountains, it is usually recommended to use
13 this procedure. If it happens that the target is not observable, the
14 relevant battery or division must shoot a calculated quantity of
15 projectiles until the required level of demolition is deemed to have been
17 Could you briefly elaborate what is a calculated norm or a
18 determined norm of ordnance in respect of unobserved targets? As brief as
19 you can.
20 A. Of course, I will try to be as brief as possible.
21 The calculated norm of ammunition that you can find in the text is
22 a norm of ammunition which is calculated on the basis of mathematical
23 methods and other methods as well, taking into consideration a wide range
24 of aspects. This is how it is determined what kind of quantity of
25 ammunition is needed for the various kinds of targets.
1 This is a pre-calculated norm and the artillery commander receives
2 this norm. I would like to emphasise the fact that this is used if the
3 target cannot be observed from the land, from an observation point in the
4 land or the terrain, if you like. Because this requires quite a large
5 quantity of ammunition. And the observability of the target, as regards
6 the fact of ammunition, is a much better solution and a much economic
7 solution as well. Obviously, this can only be used when the target is
8 visible from this post in the terrain.
9 Q. Thank you. You said it is something which is pre-calculated and
10 is contained in the text in respect to that type of fire. Can I ask you
11 this question: In combat in cities where it is known that there resides a
12 large civilian population, can you comment or express an opinion on the
13 applicability of firing this calculated quantity or large amounts of
14 projectiles at unobserved targets?
15 A. Yes, of course, I will try to do my best. I think that --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
17 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there is a very
18 big difference, at least in the Defence point of view, if "non-observable"
19 and the target, "not observed," "non-observable and non-observed targets."
20 Because when one says "non-observable," it does not mean that it is a not
21 observed target. According to this report, here it is mentioned, "the
22 non-observable targets," and I am saying that it could -- that I do not
23 think that it is a merely a somatical point of view. There is a major
24 difference between these two terms and we shall see that later on.
25 MR. STAMP: Indeed, I think it is something that can be asked
1 about. It is merely --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The question is about non-observed targets.
3 And that is the question. That could be targets that could not be
4 observed or have not been observed, which is, of course, not the same.
5 But if you would like to make this difference, you could have done this in
6 cross-examination. Yes. The question --
7 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] But what I am trying to say is
10 that the expert has throughout spoken about a non-observable target and
11 now he is being asked to comment on something about a non-observed target
12 and these two things are not the same and that is what I am trying to
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... not be observed?
15 Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. Dr. Kovacs, there are some targets, I take it, which cannot be
18 observed using eyesight or optical instruments or any other method?
19 A. Yes. The category of non-observable targets includes targets
20 which cannot be observed respecting the type of the fire which is supposed
21 to be fired or the type of the target.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 The question I am asking about refers to targets which are not
24 being observed and I repeat it: In combats -- in combat in cities where
25 it is known that there resides a large civilian population, can you
1 comment or express an opinion on the applicability of firing this
2 calculated quantity of large amounts of projectiles at targets which are
3 not observed?
4 A. I can express an opinion about that in general terms, because the
5 question was a very precise question. You always have to take into
6 consideration the actual conditions. However, there are certain rules to
7 be respected as well. There are certain rules concerning observable and
8 non-observable targets and the way they are supposed to be destroyed as
10 These rules are very clear about the way you are supposed to
11 proceed. I think that it is in everybody's interest in a situation like
12 that, that every possibility should be considered to find an observable
13 target. And, therefore, to -- the quantity of ammunition to be used and
14 also to reduce a number of casualties.
15 Q. Thank you, Doctor.
16 MR. STAMP: I am wondering if it is a convenient moment.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It is approximately time for the break.
18 Mr. Stamp, how much time would you still need?
19 MR. STAMP: I expect approximately half an hour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Half an hour. May I make one comment in view of some
21 guidance, for, if there would be any other expert who would like to change
22 some of the words in his report. It took us 45 minutes to go through a
23 lot of details which were, as far as I can see now, mainly positions in
24 expressions, rather than a change of the report itself. If the Chamber
25 would have been provided with an adapted version, and the same, of course,
1 for the Defence, then you could have asked on one or two issues, for
2 example, delayed fuse, time fuse, why he changed the word. That would
3 have taken 10 to 12 minutes.
4 Now we really lost half an hour and I can assure you that you
5 still missed a few ones as well. We adjourn until a quarter past 4.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.4 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before giving you the opportunity, Mr. Stamp, to
9 resume the examination-in-chief, Mr. Ierace, I am glad to see that you are
10 back and that there is no further reason for your absence.
11 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President. At some time convenient to
12 you, I could attend for the purpose of tendering the exhibits in respect
13 of General Van Baal.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, they are all under seal, so I would rather
15 continue with the examination of the witness rather than ... If you would
16 be warned by one of your colleagues when we come to that. It might not be
17 until the next break, certainly not. And there is no urgency in that.
18 MR. IERACE: At the conclusion of the examination-in-chief or the
19 witness's evidence altogether, Mr. President?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's try to do it five minutes before the next
22 MR. IERACE: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. I would like to ask you a question and you will answer -- may I
3 ask, would you order the firing of a large quantity of artillery rounds
4 into unobserved areas of a city with a large civilian population
5 inhabiting there?
6 A. You have got to know all the circumstances. So I don't think that
7 I would be able to give you a concrete answer based on the information
8 that I have just been given. I think, however, that you've got to be
9 extremely prudent and every single time when there might be civil
10 casualties due to artillery, you have to be extremely prudent. At the
11 same time, you have to try and use as little ammunition as possible. So
12 this should be the decision of the commander. And the only way you can
13 reach this decision is to try and have a fire effect on the target on the
14 circumstances where the target is observable.
15 Now referring to your question, reconnaissance has to have very
16 accurate information and data about the location and the nature of the
17 targets. The objective should be to fire as accurately as possible. This
18 is what I would consider correct, professionally.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 May I take you to that part of your report where you speak of the
21 tasks of artillery fire and that is at page 2 of the report.
22 Here you have referred to the task of artillery fire in terms of
23 its effects on what you call, "targets." And you refer in bold close to
24 the bottom of the page to "disturbance" with "wear out" in brackets, and
25 you describe what that is. Can I ask you, in artillery terminology, is
1 there another word for that type of fire at targets.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, I did not understand.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. In artillery terminology, is there another term for what you have
5 here described as "disturbance" or "wear out"?
6 A. Yes. There is another term for describing this kind of fire. In
7 the terminology of the artillery, the term which is used is, "harassment."
8 Basically the contents are the same. It is a synonym, but the term the
9 artillery would use would be "harassment".
10 Q. And you close that paragraph by saying and I may quote: "Its use
11 against a civilian population not in uniform and proven to be unarmed is
12 not a legitimate and planned military assignment."
13 A. Yes, I think that this is true.
14 Q. In ordering the fire of artillery on areas or targets where
15 civilian casualties are possible or probable -- I withdraw that. May I
16 rephrase it?
17 If civilian casualties are possible or probable, on what authority
18 could an artillery crew commander order fire onto that area where there
19 are civilians?
20 A. I think I need some clarification concerning the question because
21 I don't quite understand the question.
22 Q. Where an artillery battery commander is aware of the possibility
23 or probability of civilian casualties occurring from a fire mission, on
24 what authority could he, in standard artillery usage, order the fire or
25 would he have to refer to someone?
1 A. Thank you. Now I understand the question.
2 If we are talking about a commander of a battery, you have to know
3 that a commander of such rank is not supposed to take such an important
4 decision. If a battery commander is aware of the fact that in the area he
5 is supposed to fire at is like that, he has got to inform his superior
6 about that fact.
7 So his superior is supposed to be informed in a way because we
8 can't suppose that he is capable of observing or looking at that area with
9 his -- by his own means. And I think that from there on, this is not the
10 battery commander's responsibility. It is not his responsibility, whether
11 he is going to execute the task he is supposed to. If he does execute the
12 task after his report, once he has already informed his superior, I think
13 that the question of responsibility is not at the level of the battery
14 commander any more. This is a general answer to your question.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 I would like to turn very briefly to some comments you made in
17 your report on the issue of accuracy, primarily the observations which you
18 make from page 5, the second to last paragraph of page 5, to page 6 of
19 your report. May I first ask, in conventional artillery usage and
20 operation, are artillery pieces normally left to remain in a single firing
21 position after each fire mission or is it otherwise?
22 A. Could you please specify your question if possible. I don't quite
23 understand it.
24 Q. In the standard operation of artillery in combat, do they normally
25 execute a fire mission and remove from the spot where they fired or do
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 they normally remain in the spot where they fired from for a long time in
2 the course of this standard procedure for artillery fire?
3 A. Thank you.
4 In general, my answer would be the following: By and large a
5 subunit in artillery, once the mission has been carried out, would leave
6 the spot, the firing spot, the firing position, from which it had fired
7 the artillery, the shells. Precisely, for the following reason: In every
8 single case when the enemy artillery is present, as well, they can expect
9 a riposte retaliation. So it is in the very obvious interest of an
10 artillery unit to leave the spot as quickly as possible after the mission
11 has been carried out. And, of course, this has to be done prior to the
12 reply by the enemy artillery, obviously.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 Having regard to your answer, can you comment on this passage on
15 page 6, the penultimate paragraph of your report. "An artillery piece and
16 the mortars laying siege to a city --" I will start again. "An artillery
17 piece and the mortars laying siege to a city have good opportunity to
18 transfer the fire from the ranging fire base point where they have
19 probably remained in a single firing position. They knew the ranging fire
20 characteristics of numerous targets that had already been demolished and
21 therefore they were able to perform fire transfer within the specified
22 deadline in a manner that meant the first or only shot impacted into the
23 target with great accuracy without any previous range in shots and
24 therefore completely unexpected."
25 In the context of your previous answer and that passage, could you
1 explain or elaborate a little further on what is meant by "the transfer of
3 A. Yes. As I mentioned before, in a basic situation, this is exactly
4 what happens. After the strike, after the shelling, the artillery will
5 leave the firing positions and within the dynamics of the combat, they
6 will move to a couple of hundred metres away from that spot, and that is
7 exactly where they will occupy another firing position.
8 Now, in extreme cases something else can happen. If they don't
9 have to worry about a riposte, the enemy striking back, and also they
10 don't have to worry about the enemy reconnoitering the exact firing spot,
11 it might happen that they maintain the same firing position and they will
12 continue and they will continue carrying out further shelling missions
13 from that very spot. And then, of course, this will be a more favourable
14 situation for them because if we consider carefully, then, of course,
15 targets were not moved, the firing position for fire command were not
16 changed, which means that they can exclude a great many factors and
17 changes which might render the firing mission less precise.
18 And what I describe in this particular paragraph and in answer to
19 your question, we are here talking about a method whereby our shelling can
20 be determined. It is a methodology and if this is a rather precise
21 method, which can be employed in certain target areas, in which that
22 particular unit, artillery unit, had already carried out some missions.
23 And in such situations and from certain points of view, it is easier to
24 determine certain elements regarding the target than in another situation.
25 So in this particular situation, it is possible to employ ranging fire
1 base point and then you can also move your firing position from a ranging
2 base point.
3 Q. Do you mean move the position from which you fired or position
4 that you fired at?
5 A. No, no, this is not my idea. Okay. Let's suppose that a target
6 has already been found. Okay? Let's say 20, 30, 40 minutes ago, the
7 target was hit. And then, of course, I know the parameters, and within
8 certain limits in time and space, I can apply the necessary corrections,
9 and thereby, my firing shelling power will be much more precise. And
10 then, of course, it would be much more precise than if I had to fire on a
11 so-called "fresh target." This is the way I understand my answer.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 You refer in your report, and I would like to take you to that
14 area now, to the crucial issue of record keeping. For example, if I could
15 take you to page 8, at line 13, line 13 from the top you say "the
16 specified targets must be recorded in writing at the level of the battery
17 or regiment commander."
18 And at page 11, line 13 from the bottom or line 14 from the
19 bottom, you say, "from the cannon or mortar commander level, every
20 platoon, battery and the division is supposed to record the
21 characteristics of each target shot at so that an investigation, provided
22 it is initiated, can clear any suspicious cases.
23 That is, the latter citation was page 11 and starting at line 14
24 from the bottom. If upon complaint the targets which are not military
25 targets are hit, would an investigation, if initiated by a commander, be
1 in writing as well?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. Could you please repeat your
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. If upon complaint or if there is a complaint or many complaints of
6 artillery fire striking targets which are not military, and if an
7 investigation is initiated by a commander, would that investigation be in
8 writing as well?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Piletta-Zanin.
10 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is a
11 purely theoretical question. Does it concern the whole army or is it
12 directly related to the ARS or the BH army?
13 JUDGE ORIE: This is a general question put to an expert witness.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. Would you expect that investigations of complaints of non-military
17 targets or civilians being hit by artillery fire be conducted in writing?
18 That basically is the question.
19 A. Yes. My answer would be the following: In fact, at every single
20 level, as regards military command in the artillery, it is compulsory to
21 draw up a number of documents, because it is not only prior to artillery
22 fire attack, but also after such an attack, it is necessary to be able to
23 check, to examine the activities. So every single shot fired has to be
24 recorded, and this is precisely why, if there is any kind of accident,
25 let's call it an accident, happens to take place, then we can follow and
1 find out exactly who made that mistake.
2 And, of course, I would like to point out that the possibilities
3 of making mistakes are absolutely vast. And in my opinion, for a
4 commander at a certain level, and let us remain in a general category, if
5 a commander, if such a commander in general learns that an accident has
6 taken place which was caused by the artillery misfiring, then, of course,
7 they have to investigate it. And the investigation does not have to be
8 ordered, necessarily, in writing. At a certain level, a commander can
9 order such an investigation orally or in writing. And it is my conviction
10 that after the investigation, the report which will be received by the
11 commander at a certain level concerning the results of the investigation,
12 then it is my conviction that such a report has to be drawn up in writing.
13 Naturally, what I am saying now, is in answer to your question and
14 I am answering your question in general terms, and of course I don't have
15 any further information in this particular matter.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. STAMP: May I just have a moment to confer with my learned
18 friend, just one moment.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. STAMP: That is the examination-in-chief. May it please you,
22 Mr. President, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Stamp.
24 Mr. Kovacs, you will now be examined by counsel for the Defence.
25 May I take it, Ms. Pilipovic, that you are the one who is examining the
2 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but with your
3 permission, if there is time, my colleague will also ask some questions.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You know the conditions, within the time limits
5 set. And that is half --
6 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
8 Cross-examined by Ms. Pilipovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Kovacs.
10 Mr. Kovacs, can you tell us if you wrote your report on the basis
11 of your theoretical knowledge?
12 A. Do you mean, do I have theoretical knowledge?
13 Q. Mr. Kovacs, the Defence understands that you do have such
14 theoretical knowledge in view of the titles you have.
15 A. Yes, you are absolutely right. You understand it correctly. I
16 have both a theoretical and practical knowledge regarding artillery.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
18 The knowledge that you acquired during the course of your career
19 and training, could you confirm to us whether you also applied this
20 knowledge to the situation in the city of Sarajevo in 1992, 1994, at the
21 time when you wrote your report?
22 A. The knowledge that I have, that I have gleaned from my experience,
23 and my expertise which exist both from the theoretical and the practical
24 standpoint, well, of course, this is the kind of knowledge that I applied,
25 that I used when I wrote my report, my study.
1 Q. So, Mr. Kovacs, you are confirming to us that you applied your
2 knowledge to the city of Sarajevo, specifically, at the time when you
3 wrote this report?
4 A. When I wrote my report, I did not write it about the city of
5 Sarajevo. It was a general application of artillery or rather the general
6 application of artillery in a combat involving cities.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
8 Mr. Kovacs, can we agree then that all the questions that we will
9 touch upon here are questions which are theoretical questions and
10 assumptions and hypothesis, since you were not familiar with the situation
11 in Sarajevo?
12 A. I would like to answer the following: Whatever I described in
13 this particular report refers to the general application of artillery.
14 And I don't have and I didn't have at the time any specific information
15 which would have applied to urban warfare in one particular city or town,
16 i.e., the siege of any given town or city, and this is why it is obviously
17 true. You can apply it to Sarajevo, or you can apply it to any other city
18 as well.
19 Q. Mr. Kovacs, can you tell us if you have been to Sarajevo?
20 A. No, I have never been there.
21 Q. At the time that you were preparing your report, did you perhaps
22 study the geographic location of Sarajevo?
23 A. As regards Sarajevo, I had the following information. In fact, I
24 had the information that I obtained myself during this particular study,
25 and my studies. And I also had a number of pieces of information which I
1 obtained from the media from different sources of information. Whatever I
2 could obtain, whatever I could find out, in general. I have not studied
3 specifically the very structure of the town, the city of Sarajevo.
4 Q. Mr. Kovacs, in your report on page 1 of the English text, you
5 speak about observable and non-observable targets. Will you agree with me
6 when I say that under the conditions of war waged in an urban environment,
7 there are many more targets which are not observable?
8 A. This is very general way of describing the situation, so I cannot
9 really agree with you. Because every time you have a situation, every
10 time you have a number of targets, be it in a city, in an urban
11 environment or any kind of built-up environment, you have to make a
12 special effort to observe the targets and to observe target activity for
13 various reasons. But one of them is precisely to attain a certain level
14 of fire effect, fire power.
15 And in a given built-up area, it is precisely the geographical
16 situation of that area that might determine whether you observe your
17 target with optical instruments from a helicopter or using other tools,
18 other methods of reconnoitering, and also it is important to find out to
19 what extent this can be done, using the different methods and instruments.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 Mr. Kovacs, when you speak about the targeting of non-observable
22 targets, in order to achieve accuracy when firing at such a target, do you
23 think that one needs a larger quantity of ammunition for that, compared
24 with the quantity of ammunition needed to fire at the observable target?
25 A. This is not my opinion. This is -- were known by the people who
1 write the rules and regulations and use artillery and who are experts in
2 this field. And I think that they have carefully studied these
3 parameters, these situations. And I believe that every military, and
4 especially if we are talking about artillery officers, commanders, I think
5 it makes it very obvious for these people that when they fire at
6 observable targets, then, of course, they will use much less ammunition
7 than if they were firing at non-observable targets.
8 Q. So, Mr. Kovacs, to fire at non-observable targets, one needs much
9 more ammunition in order to improve the accuracy, to be accurate?
10 A. I -- there is something I would like to correct, if you allow me.
11 It is not for added precision that we need more ammunition, but in order
12 to obtain the desired effect and they are not necessarily identical, these
13 two phenomena.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
15 Mr. Kovacs, can you agree with me that in a city it is permitted
16 to fire at non-observable military targets -- at the targets of military
17 targets, observable military targets?
18 A. Could you please be more specific, because I don't quite
19 understand your question.
20 Q. Mr. Kovacs, can you agree with me that in a city, it is permitted
21 to aim at and fire at non-observed military targets?
22 A. I would like to give you a general answer. In a city or in any
23 kind of settlement there might be observable and non-observable targets.
24 The fact that there is going to be firing at a non-observable target with
25 large quantities of ammunition will depend on the decision taken by the
1 commander in charge. That particular commander has to take the decision
2 whether firing should take place or firing should be targeted at these
3 targets, that is, non-observable targets. The commander has to decide
4 whether it is going to fire or not.
5 MR. STAMP: I am not sure if the witness finished his answer. I
6 don't know, perhaps he could indicate.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have just finished the answer.
8 This was my last sentence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Kovacs, but my question was whether it is permitted, whether
12 it is allowed in a city to aim at and fire at non-observed military
13 targets. Can you answer, yes or no, if you can, that is?
14 A. No military rules will make a difference, in this respect, whether
15 non-observable targets can be found in cities or out of cities. I would
16 just like to repeat, this is the decision of the commander.
17 Q. So you are confirming to us that it is permissible?
18 A. This is not what I said. What I said was that the commander has
19 to decide. This is my answer to your question.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
21 Mr. Kovacs, on page 1 you spoke about targets, single targets and
22 grouped targets. According to you, in case of a war in a city, is it
23 allowed to aim and fire at single military targets?
24 A. So your question is whether you can fire at single and grouped
25 targets as well?
1 Q. Mr. Kovacs, I asked you first about single military targets,
2 therefore machine-guns, snipers, mortars. Is it permitted when a war is
3 waged in built-up areas?
4 A. Well, my question -- my answer to this question is that you can
5 fire at single targets as well.
6 Q. Mr. Kovacs, you spoke to us about grouped military targets. Now,
7 in line with the division that you made, could you perhaps give us a list
8 of the targets which, in your mind, could be defined as grouped military
10 A. Of course, I can give you examples, if you would like me to. For
11 instance, as regard single targets, a mortar, one shell or, for instance,
12 a tank piercing gun. As regards grouped military targets, for instance, a
13 platoon with mortars, with three mortars, would fall into this category,
14 gathering infantry or a defence post would just be a few examples because
15 there are quite a lot of them so maybe I wouldn't go on.
16 Q. Mr. Kovacs, when you answered my question about whether it was
17 permitted to target and fire at non-observed military targets, you said
18 that it was the commander who decided whether to do it or not.
19 Can you tell us who decides on the use of artillery at a battalion
21 A. Could you please be more specific about your question? Are we
22 talking about the artillery, a special division of the artillery now?
23 Q. Yes. Within a battalion.
24 A. The unit commander in the artillery has always a mission, and this
25 mission is given to him by the other unit above him. This mission can be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 given to him from two directions: His direct superior, artillery superior
2 and the other commander in charge of all the units, the direct superior.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
4 Mr. Kovacs, on page 1 of the English version under item 8, you
5 divided the targets by their level of cover; you divided them into covered
6 and uncovered. Could you please list the uncovered targets or open
7 targets in city circumstances or city conditions?
8 MR. STAMP: Could we just get exactly where we are talking about?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is the last one. It is not numbered 8,
10 but it is the 8th linear of this first page.
11 MR. STAMP: Yes, 8th paragraph.
12 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In the document I prepared I
14 have already given a few examples of open and covered targets. Basically
15 the simplest way of distinguishing between these two is to say that open
16 targets can be found without any special technical efforts. So they are
17 not, let's say, "dig in." There are no protective facilities surrounding
18 them or covering them. They cannot be found in special combat vehicles.
19 And when we are talking about covered targets, obviously, we have got to
20 mention the opposite case. Let me just give you an example for each.
21 An open target could be, for instance, one mortar which is not in
22 a firing post which has been prepared in a kind of technical way. Or, for
23 instance, an infantry which can be found -- which cannot be found in a
24 kind of building or construction. Another example for covered targets
25 would be an infantry which can be found, for instance, in a building or in
1 a protected facility.
2 Q. Mr. Kovacs, did I understand you correctly that all buildings
3 where troops or army equipment is located in conditions of a city, in city
4 circumstances, in your opinion are military targets, covered military
6 A. No. I think this would be a general way of putting it. It is far
7 too general to put it, because you can't really know this exactly as long
8 as you don't have exact data of reconnaissance, and this information
9 should be in the possession of the commander. And the commander should be
10 aware of the fact that this is a military target.
11 Q. Yes, Mr. Kovacs. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
12 I understood your answer, but my question was whether a building
13 or a house which has soldiers in it in city circumstances, in your
14 opinion, is that a covered military target?
15 A. Well, I think this depends on the kind of construction or the kind
16 of building we are talking about. If the building in question is capable
17 of providing cover or shelter against an artillery attack, for instance,
18 this could be a covered target. But I think that here again we have got
19 to be very prudent and we have got to examine everything in detail.
20 Q. Mr. Kovacs, could you confirm to us that in order to destroy
21 covered targets, it is necessary to use a larger amount of ammunition from
22 the one that would be needed for uncovered targets, for open targets?
23 A. Could you please be more specific about your question? Do you
24 mean to ask whether more ammunition is necessary for a covered target than
25 an open target?
1 Q. Yes, that's right.
2 A. In that case my answer is obviously, yes. You need more
3 ammunition in that case, but obviously I would need more information so
4 that I can be more specific in my answer. But in the first approach, I
5 would say, yes, more ammunition is needed.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
7 Mr. Kovacs, on page 2 of the English version under item 2, 3, 4,
8 5, and 6, you describe, if I understand you correctly, the tasks of
9 artillery fire.
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Mr. Kovacs, is it permissible to use any of the each individually
12 listed task within the artillery fire that you have listed here in urban
13 conditions of war?
14 A. As regards the artillery, and as regards the task of artillery
15 fire, there is no difference between urban warfare or open space warfare.
16 So obviously all the tasks I have enlisted here are to in both case.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
18 Mr. Kovacs, on page 4 of your report, paragraph 2, you speak of
19 the element of surprise. You say that the moment or the element of
20 surprise is of greatest importance when mobile targets are targeted and
21 live forces.
22 A. Obviously this is true. The unexpected nature of artillery fire
23 is always one of the basic conditions, the requirements.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
25 Mr. Kovacs, would you agree with me if I put it to you that a
1 mortar or mortars that are active from a truck or from another vehicle,
2 that is, as mobile technical equipment, when they are active from inside
3 the city towards enemy positions, in your opinion, such mortars do they
4 represent a legitimate military target?
5 A. Could I please ask you whether you mean a mortar which has a
6 mobile carrier?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. In this case, the mortar mounted on a mobile carrier can be
9 considered as a mobile target in the sense that once it has fired, it can
10 quite easily move away from its firing position. But it is not a mobile
11 target because it does not keep moving since one of the specific natures
12 of a mortar is that it can only fire once it is stable, so it is not
14 Q. But, Mr. Kovacs, if a mortar is placed on a vehicle, on a carrier,
15 on a mobile carrier, and that at one moment it is fired from one position
16 and then that vehicle leaves that position which was used as a firing
17 position, at the moment when it is fired, when the mortar is fired, the
18 mortar which is mounted on a vehicle, in your opinion, is that a
19 legitimate military target?
20 A. Well, my question is whether we could be more specific about this?
21 When do you mean this would be a legitimate target, once it is in its
22 firing position and it is firing?
23 Q. And at the moment when it is standing in its position and at the
24 moment when it is firing, that is, throughout, always.
25 A. In the moment when it is firing and when the other party is firing
1 back, it could be considered as a legitimate military target.
2 Q. Mr. Kovacs, when such mobile targets are fired on from the side,
3 which is returning fire, which is riposting, would you agree with me to
4 consider that in such a situation, it is possible to open fire on other
5 targets, too; that is, what is the possibility of being accurate in your
6 opinion when fire is open on such a mobile target?
7 A. This depends on the other side, on the other side which is firing
8 back, that is, at this mobile target. So this depends on what kind of
9 means the other side is using to fire, whether the other side is using a
10 cannon, a mortar, or any other ways of firing. This is another approach.
11 Q. Mr. Kovacs, could you tell us what is the probability of hitting
12 such a target with one shell?
13 A. Could I please just ask you just one question, because this is
14 very important? Now, we are talking about weapons at our disposals that
15 we would like to use to hit this target. What kind of weapons do we use
16 or would we like to use?
17 Q. We are talking specifically, say, about a mortar.
18 A. Thank you.
19 Now, that's more specific. With a mortar, it is impossible to
20 fire at a mobile target. With a mortar, you would only fire at a target
21 which in the moment when you would like to destroy that particular target
22 is not moving.
23 Q. Mr. Kovacs on page 4, paragraph 4 of your report, you speak of
24 using mortar shells, that is, with projectiles assembled with explosive
25 uses are used to destroy live forces --
1 A. I am sorry. I can't really find this.
2 JUDGE ORIE: If I could assist you, it is on page 4, the 4th
3 paragraph, the third line.
4 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] 4(a), in fact.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the first
6 few words of the sentence so that we can find it?
7 JUDGE ORIE: It is "projectile assembled with explosive fuses."
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. "Used for the demolition of the enemy's life forces, weapons,
11 artillery batteries, armoured combat vehicles, radio and radio stations,
12 and vehicles located in open fields --"
13 JUDGE ORIE: Now we have some confusion. When referring to this
14 paragraph at first instance, mention was made of "projectiles assembled
15 with explosive fuses are used to destroy life forces." That is not the
16 part you are quoting now. That is the previous one.
17 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It is actually
18 a paragraph before this one.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So we now are concentrating on "projectiles
20 assembled with instant fuse are used for the demolition of the enemy's
21 life forces." Yes, that part we are dealing with.
22 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yes. Mr. Kovacs, we read out or quoted a part of -- section of
24 your report, when you spoke about projectiles with instant fuses and we
25 quoted what they are used for. Could you confirm to us that this is
1 accurate, that this is so?
2 A. You mean to say is it correct, whatever is written in this
3 particular paragraph; is that your question?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I haven't changed it today. I didn't find any mistakes here, so I
6 consider this to be correct.
7 Q. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Kovacs.
8 Mr. Kovacs, could you tell us whether the body of a shell, the
9 stabiliser or some other part of such a shell could penetrate into the
10 ground, presuming that it is directly hit the ground?
11 A. Please bear with me.
12 I would like to ask you to be kind enough to specify your
14 JUDGE ORIE: May I --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me whether from the
16 body of the ammunition, the stabiliser and in this particular case we are
17 talking about a mine, you know, from a mortar or a rocket from a mortar --
18 shell from a mortar --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, may I ask you --
20 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] We are talking about a mortar. We
21 are talking about a mortar.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the question seems -- was not entirely
23 clear to the witness. It was not entirely clear to me as well. Would you
24 please think over the formulation of the question during the break because
25 we said that we would spend the last five minutes before the break to deal
1 with the documents. And we have to do that in closed session.
2 Dr. Kovacs, we will have a break for -- until 5 minutes past 6.00.
3 May I ask you to leave the courtroom. You will be escorted out by the
4 usher, because we have to deal with one procedural item that has got
5 nothing to do with your testimony, and we have to do that in closed
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could we then --
9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ierace, the Registrar informs me that it might
11 not be necessary to go into closed session, if she deals with the
12 documents in the general description she usually uses.
13 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, might I indicate at this stage that
14 the only document I seek to formally tender is P2380. The rest have gone
15 into evidence in the usual way by the relevant parts being quoted. Thank
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you, Mr. Piletta-Zanin, the Defence has
19 tendered one exhibit and that was not a protected exhibit in whatever way,
20 I think. Am I correct? The witness statements -- or you say we don't
21 have to tender that because -- I think the relevant part has been read out
22 as well. So if you would refrain from tendering it.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
24 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] It was D141, which was, in
25 fact, read out. And your question was to find out if we are going to
1 tender it as our exhibit?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the first question was whether there was
3 any protective element in it. Of course, the Chamber would not know. And
4 the second question was, since it has been read out, the relevant part,
5 whether you would tender it or not.
6 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Well, no. My other part of
7 the answer, would be why not? We have done the work and I suppose it
8 wouldn't hurt for you to have it before you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No, it doesn't hurt at all. On the other hand, we of
10 course try to reduce the number of documents we have. But I do not mind.
11 I take it, Mr. Ierace, that -- yes, Mr. Ierace.
12 MR. IERACE: Mr. President, I object to the tender for the reason
13 that has been made clear. The relevant part has been put to the witness,
14 and his has been asked if he agreed or disagreed. Tendering the relevant
15 part of the statement of someone who, I think, is now deceased is
16 inappropriate. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Would it add anything if it would be tendered?
18 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] There is no point in
19 sacrificing anything for time, Mr. President, which means clearly that we
20 can withdraw that piece from being tendered.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So the only document then remaining is P2380
22 which would be, Madam Registrar?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Outgoing code cable R004134.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No objection. Therefore, it is admitted into
25 evidence. We will adjourn until 5 minutes past 6.00.
1 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I didn't have
2 time to phrase the objection that I was going to make, but on the basis of
3 the same principle, that the one that Mr. Ierace wanted to have applied
4 here, it should be also here that the rule goes for them as well. A lot
5 of things were tendered and some, the same thing is valid for them as
6 well. Thank you in advance.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. IERACE: If you wish, Mr. President, I can quickly explain the
9 difference in closed session.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have to -- did you check exactly -- let me
11 first have a look at the document and see whether I can find it. No, I
13 MR. IERACE: I could do it obliquely by saying that attached to
14 the cable is the two-page document, the detail of which it is appropriate
15 to tender.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We will give a decision on that after the break. We
17 will adjourn until 5 minutes past 6.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.11 p.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I promised you a decision on the objection. I will
21 not give it now. The Chamber has --
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: The practice in this Chamber has been not to tender
24 any document of which a part was read, if that part would be the only
25 relevant part of the testimony, that is a matter of practice. That would
1 not mean if some party would insist on tendering, that we finally would
2 say no, but it is very practical to do it the other way. We will have a
3 closer look and compare the two documents. Mr. Piletta-Zanin said that he
4 would not tender his document. Mr. Ierace said that one of the documents
5 he would like to tender. We will have a close look at it, and in line
6 with what I said before, we will then consider whether it would be
7 appropriate to try to convince Mr. Ierace not to tender it or that the
8 Chamber would see such a difference that the Chamber would just accept
9 that the document is tendered and we will give a decision on the
10 admissibility of the document.
11 So I would like to make the parties a clear distinction between
12 the practice in this Court and the rules. We could now continue with the
13 examination of Dr. Kovacs.
14 MR. IERACE: Thank you, Mr. President. Might I be excused for the
15 remainder of the session?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated.
19 Please proceed, Ms. Pilipovic.
20 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Kovacs, it is my duty to clarify the question that I asked you
22 before the break. To enable you to answer this question, I will first ask
23 you something else.
24 Does a shell, and I am talking about a mortar, say 120, when it
25 hits the target, because of the action of the fuse, whether instant or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 timed, it then explodes, does it?
2 A. Well, if the mortar shell hits the target then the likelihood that
3 it will explode is very great indeed, if that is your question.
4 Q. It was, yes, Mr. Kovacs.
5 And when it explodes, parts of the shell are dispersed, that is
6 burst, and a part of the shell which does not burst such as, for instance,
7 the tail-fin, the stabiliser moves with the shell?
8 A. Could you please specify your question? Do you mean to ask about
9 what happens after the explosion of the shell, just what exactly is going
10 to happen to the tail-fin? Is that what you want to know?
11 Q. Yes, indeed, that is what I wanted to ask you.
12 A. Well, it is very difficult to say anything in general terms about
13 this matter because that depends on what kind of land, what kind of soil,
14 what kind of ground the explosion takes place on. Because when you talk
15 about the tail-fin, after the explosion, generally the tail-fin would
16 continue the trajectory in direction of the ground. Now, whether after
17 that the tail-fin will remain in place, i.e., in the crater, for instance,
18 or else whether it will continue further, I mean, this is very difficult
19 to answer, to give you a straightforward answer, because both cases are
21 Now, the only thing that I could render more precise in my answer
22 would be this: If the ground is soft, then in general you would find the
23 tail-fin close to the place where it first hit the ground. But as far as
24 the bounce back is concerned from the ground and the direction into which
25 it would continue, well, this is something that nobody could foretell.
1 Q. Now, we were speaking about conditions. Can the tail-fin then
2 penetrate the ground, bury itself in the ground?
3 A. If your question is whether the tail-fin, after the explosion,
4 would penetrate into the ground, well then my answer would be that this is
5 quite possible. It can happen.
6 Q. Can that happen in case of an asphalt or a macadam ground?
7 A. In this particular case the main point would be to find out
8 whether the macadam or the concrete is thick enough. You would have to
9 know the exact thickness. If there is a layer of concrete which is very
10 thick, then obviously the tail-fin would bounce back.
11 Now, if there is a thin layer of asphalt, then, of course, the
12 pieces of the tail-fin could go through and penetrate it. But, of course,
13 it is not only a question of the quality or the characteristics of the
14 ground, but also it is a question of the angle of impact and there are a
15 number of other factors that you would have to take into account.
16 Q. Can you tell us, when you allowed that one had a thin layer of
17 asphalt, that is, the situation when you say it can penetrate the ground,
18 how deep can the tail-fin of a shell of 82 or 120 millimetres, how deep
19 into the ground, how deep can it penetrate the ground?
20 A. To this question, I would like to answer the following. I am now
21 referring to the first part of your question. In my opinion, if there is
22 a thin layer of asphalt, and of course I don't know the exact thickness
23 that you are referring to, but theoretically that can be penetrated. Now,
24 to say to what depth it could go into this layer, well, I couldn't give
25 you a satisfactory answer because that is beyond the scope of my
2 Q. What would you say in case of a concrete base, concrete ground?
3 So, say, types of mortars, but hitting concrete?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: I object on the basis that the question is imprecise.
6 It is bad because it is vague. The question: "What would you say in
7 respect of concrete ground," is not direct the witness to an issue
8 relevant to the case.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The witness has been speaking about concrete ground
10 already, Ms. Pilipovic. And has told us that it depends on a lot of
11 circumstances. So --
12 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] I am not quite sure Your Honour,
13 that the witness was precise enough.
14 Q. So my question is, how deep can the tail-fin of a shell coming
15 from an 81, 82 or 120 millimetres penetrate a layer of concrete?
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stamp.
17 MR. STAMP: Just to add that he answered that question and said
18 that he could not give a satisfactory answer because that is outside the
19 scope of his expertise.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first try to find out whether the expert deems
21 himself enough an expert in the field of the kinetics, because we are
22 slowly moving from expertise in mortars and into kinetics.
23 Mr. Kovacs, you have told us that you could not give us a satisfy
24 answer as far as penetration of mortar shell tail-fins that would go into
25 a tarmac surface because it was beyond your scope of expertise. Now a
1 question has been put to you in respect of the penetration into a concrete
2 area and how deep a mortar tail-fin would penetrate.
3 Would you consider this question one you could answer on the basis
4 of your expertise?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot -- I am not
6 prepared from the point of view of my expertise, I am not prepared to give
7 you an answer, a satisfactory answer to this question.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then please move to your next subject, Ms. Pilipovic.
9 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Kovacs, on page 5, passage paragraph 3 of your report, it
11 begins with the words: "using the reports of occasional eyewitnesses,
12 conclusions can be drawn about the usage of particular types of
14 Mr. Kovacs, did you write this on the basis of your theoretical or
15 on the basis of your practical knowledge?
16 A. Are you talking about the entire paragraph?
17 Q. I am talking about the first words in this paragraph that you
18 used. "Using the reports of occasional eyewitnesses, conclusions can be
19 drawn about the usage of particular types of projectiles."
20 A. When I wrote this text, I used my theoretical and practical
21 knowledge to an equal extent because it is precisely because of my
22 responsibilities that I have been able to work with various types of
23 ammunition and I was in charge of organising or supervising the use of
24 these ammunitions or as I saw, I have seen of the way they were being
25 used. And as far as the application of the use of ammunition is
1 concerned, you have certain external indicators and these are indicators,
2 these signs, are visible, relatively speaking, even for non-experts,
3 non-specialists. When you see them, when you notice them, you can draw
4 certain conclusions concerning the type of ammunition that has been used
5 in that particular instance.
6 Q. Mr. Kovacs, are you telling us that you talked with accidental
7 passersby about whether they could determine the type of the fired
9 A. No, no, this is not at all what I was saying. I was talking about
10 the fact that when you have seen certain types of ammunition being used as
11 an eyewitness, if you were present, then on the basis of their account of
12 the event, you are able to come to certain conclusions, and you can
13 possibly determine the type of ammunition that has been use.
14 Q. Mr. Kovacs, in your opinion, would an ordinary person, a layman
15 who is not an expert on weapons, would that person be able to tell by
16 sound which shell is being fired; that is, the shell which is flying by or
17 which has been fired?
18 A. No, no, no, this is not what I am saying at all. I think that
19 when a shell hits the target, there is an explosion, and this explosion
20 has a number of external signs, if you like, external indicators,
21 characteristics, from which you can draw certain conclusions as to the
22 type of shell that has been used. But, of course the ordinary lay person
23 would never be able to determine the type of ammunition that has been
24 used, obviously.
25 But on the basis of certain external signs and on the basis of the
1 account given by the eyewitness, the expert can come to certain
2 conclusions. And of course I am not trying to pretend that the ordinary
3 passerby would be an expert. I am just saying that on the basis of his or
4 her account, an expert can come to certain conclusions. And of course I
5 am not talking about the trajectory, I am talking about the exact impact
7 Q. Mr. Kovacs, did I understand you correctly that in your opinion,
8 an ordinary person cannot tell apart just by sound a shell which is
9 flying, nor can that person determine the calibre of a shell at the moment
10 when this shell is fire?
11 A. Could you please be more specific about your question? Because I
12 would like to know whether we are talking about trajectory here.
13 Q. If we are talking about the trajectory, first of all, could you
14 answer in relation to the trajectory?
15 A. Yes. You have got to note that the speed of the ammunition on the
16 trajectory is that you can't really see that. There is a sound effect on
17 the basis of which an ordinary lay person or an expert could not specify
18 100 per cent what kind of shell it was. Because of the high speed of
19 these shells, they are invisible on the trajectory.
20 Q. Mr. Kovacs, we are talking about firing a shell in urban
21 conditions. In your opinion, at which distance can you hear the sound of
22 a shell being fired? We are talking about a 120 millimetre shell or 82
23 millimetre shell.
24 A. Would you like me to talk about the sound of the firing?
25 Q. The firing of the shell from the mortar.
1 A. The sound of the firing itself can be heard from several
2 kilometres away, and the sound of the impact as well. Obviously
3 everything depends on the weather as well, because these are very
4 important factors.
5 Q. In urban conditions, in built-up areas, you just spoke about the
6 possibility that when a shell is fired from a mortar, is it possible to
7 determine in such urban conditions where this sound comes from,
8 considering that you told us how many kilometres you can hear a shell
9 being fired from?
10 A. Would you like me to tell you whether an ordinary lay person would
11 be able to tell you the source of the sound?
12 Q. Yes, exactly, that is what we are talking about.
13 A. Well, I think that you can have an approximate idea about the
14 source of the sound because in every big city or large city, there are
15 various kinds of noise, sounds. Even today, if an explosion takes place
16 in a city or if there is a very important sound, we could give you the
17 approximate direction of the source of the sound, provided there is no
18 other shooting or firing at the same time.
19 Q. But if we are speaking about a hilly, mountainous area, what is
20 then the possibility of determining the sound?
21 A. Well, I don't think that I could give you an exact figure about
22 the extent to which this is possible because everything depends on the
23 circumstances. But I think that you can have a very good idea. And I
24 would like to repeat that provided there are no other disturbing
25 circumstances. Obviously it is possible for two or three people to give
1 two or three different directions. But I think that the average man or
2 the average woman could have a fairly good idea about the direction of the
3 firing, approximately, of course.
4 Q. In your experience, did you have an opportunity to speak to the
5 people who would be in a position to give you what they saw, their
6 descriptions, or are you just speaking on the basis of your theoretical
8 A. No, I haven't had the opportunity of speaking to people like that.
9 But I have already heard quite a few firing and quite a few explosions.
10 And when I answered your question, I tried to remember my own experience
11 in the matter.
12 Q. Mr. Kovacs, on page 8, paragraph 5 of your report, "the artillery
13 fire is controlled from the commander's observation post and the
14 battalion's fire control post." At the end of this report, you also
15 said,, and that is in the line 6. Of the paragraph 5, you say that this
16 also means "that a commandant of an army corps -- you say, "This also
17 means that a commandant of an army corps does not give orders directly to
18 the executive artillery subunit."
19 Mr. Kovacs, could you tell us whether a corps commander gives
20 orders to the subunits to carry out firing?
21 A. Could I please ask you whether you mean to say that a corps
22 commander is giving orders to an artillery subunit?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Are we talking about the commander of this unit?
25 Q. We are talking about a corps commander. You said that he does not
1 issue orders to the subordinate unit, to the subunit; is that correct?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kovacs, was your question for more precision in
3 the question about whether the orders would be given to the commander of
4 the artillery unit?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I would like to
6 know here is who is giving orders to whom.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Pilipovic, when you are talking about a
8 commander giving orders to a unit, I think the witness asked further
9 specifications on whether these orders were given to the commander of that
10 unit or to the unit or to members of the unit. Would you please specify.
11 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Kovacs, does the commander, you said, "Commander of an army
13 corps does not issue direct orders to the executive artillery subunit."
14 Is that correct? Do you stand by what you said? So we are talking about
15 issuing orders to the executive artillery subunit.
16 A. Yes. Let us please name the artillery subunit. If this artillery
17 subunit is a battery, the order can come from its direct superior and also
18 from its own commander superior. This is part of the jewel command giving
19 process. Is this is satisfactory answer to the question?
20 Q. Mr. Kovacs, could you please answer whether commander of an army
21 corps issued orders to the executive subordinate unit of the artillery?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic --
23 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] I will -- precise. I will give
24 more precision, Your Honour
25 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Pilipovic, you are referring to what is on page 8
1 of the report. I would like to --
2 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, paragraph 5.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think it is paragraph 8 or -- it is page 8
4 where it says: "This also means that a commandant of an army corps does
5 not give orders directly to the executive artillery subunit." That is the
6 line you are referring to. The next line reads: "The tasks to be
7 accomplished by the artillery under normal conditions are determined to
8 the artillery commandant of the army corps by the commandant of the army
10 The witness has asked you to specify a few times. I understood
11 this in view of the specification he gave in the report himself by the
12 line next to the one you repeatedly quoted. Could you please ask the
13 witness in the context of the line you quoted before, an answer to your
15 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Kovacs, does the corps commander issue orders for firing for
17 his or to his brigade artillery group? Of any brigade?
18 A. Do you mean that we are talking about a brigade artillery unit?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. If such unit is a huge unit and a temporary one that may include
21 two or four artillery battalions, and the person giving orders to such
22 unit is the one who is supposed to be the commander of such unit, such
23 artillery unit is supposed to be commanded by a corps commander, say, to
24 enforce the corps or to support the corps, obviously the corps commander
25 is the one to give orders to such unit.
1 If the artillery unit is supposed to be formed differently --
2 would you like me to finish the sentence?
3 Q. Mr. Kovacs, let us be precise. Yes, you may finish the question
4 and then I will ask you for a clarification.
5 A. If this unit is not supposed to be commanded directly by the corps
6 commander, the commander which is going to be giving orders to such unit
7 is supposed to give it orders. And here we have to differentiate between
8 the various levels of command. Thank you very much. I have finished.
9 Q. Could you please clarify who is in command of the artillery group
10 within an infantry brigade?
11 A. Well, I think we have got to stop here for a minute. I think that
12 certain military terms are not really clear. I don't quite understand the
13 question so could you please specify what you mean by, "artillery subunit"
14 or "artillery group," because these are two different things. And I need
15 the clarification because otherwise I can't answer your question.
16 Q. Mr. Kovacs, bearing in mind the country where you come from, are
17 you aware or do you know the terms of the infantry brigade and the
18 existence of an artillery group within an infantry brigade?
19 A. Yes. It is true that these are terms used in the army of the
20 country I come from, but an artillery brigade is part of the
21 organisation -- excuse me. We just need to clarify certain terms between
22 the two of us with my interpreter.
23 Yes. I think that this is clearer now. An infantry brigade is
24 what we are talking about. It is possible to have an artillery group on a
25 temporary basis, but I wanted to emphasise that this is done on a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 temporary basis only. And this group is going to be subordinated to the
2 infantry brigade. I think that this was an important point to make.
3 MS. PILIPOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am looking at the
4 time. Perhaps we have another 15 or 20 minutes to go.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But then there might be a need to re-examine the
6 witness and questions of the Judges might be there. And when you say, we
7 would need another 15 minutes, does that mean you or does that include
8 Mr. Piletta-Zanin?
9 MR. PILETTA-ZANIN: [Interpretation] I would unfortunately have to
10 be absent tomorrow, Mr. President. So in any case, I will not -- I don't
11 mind if we are late tonight.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but, as a matter of fact, I think that usually,
13 if we know that we could finish in 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour, I
14 would ask the cooperation of the interpreters. But although I have had
15 some complaints, not specifically from the interpreters, but from other
16 groups assisting us of us going over the time now and then. We will not
17 be able to finish within 10 or 15 minutes, so therefore, we have to
18 adjourn until tomorrow. But we will sit tomorrow in the morning, so 9.00,
19 same courtroom. We will adjourn until then.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
22 the 10th day of July, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.