1 Thursday, 12 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber -- [French on English channel] -- be
6 doing that tomorrow.
7 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, there's actually a mix-up. We can't
8 hear you. There's a mix-up, a technical problem.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not hearing me?
10 MR. GROOME: We're getting French on the English channel.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Maybe that's telling you something,
12 Mr. Groome.
13 Okay. I'll repeat it. I was saying the Chamber issued an order
14 today, and I believe you'll all have received it. Tomorrow we will have
15 a discussion on it. I don't want any discussion on it at this time.
16 Mr. Cepic.
17 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave I would like to raise
18 some different issue.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: A different issue.
20 MR. CEPIC: Absolutely different issue.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. And I am to say that in the absence of
22 Judge Van Den Wyngaert, Judge David and I sit pursuant to the provisions
23 of Rule 15 bis.
24 Yes, Mr. Cepic.
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. During the cross-examination
1 of some of OTP witnesses, both parties use OTP 65 ter Exhibit Number
2 177.12, which is the map of Visegrad area. So I kindly ask admission of
3 that -- of that exhibit entire -- as entire map. And I spoke to
4 Mr. Groome and to Mr. Alarid, there is no objection in that way.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll admit it then.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit 2D59, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next witness, Mr. Alarid.
8 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, today we bring the witness we have
9 available today is Stephen Patrick O'Donnell.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 WITNESS: STEPHEN PATRICK O'DONNELL
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare to speak the truth, the whole
14 truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
16 And you may begin, Mr. Alarid.
17 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Examination by Mr. Alarid:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. O'Donnell.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. How are you doing this afternoon?
22 A. Fine.
23 Q. Could you please state your -- excuse me. Could you please state
24 your full name for the record, please, spelling it as well.
25 A. Stephen Patrick O'Donnell, S-t-e-p-h-e-n P-a-t-r-i-c-k
2 Q. And please tell the Court where and when were you born.
3 A. Chicago Illinois
4 Q. And where do you now reside?
5 A. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
6 Q. And are you married?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And do you have any children?
9 A. Yes, three. Two girls and a boy.
10 Q. What are their ages?
11 A. 13, 7, and we have a brand new baby boy of 2 months.
12 Q. And please tell us about your education starting with high
14 A. I graduated from Grayslake High School in a northern suburb of
16 years. And when I got done with the Marine Corps, I went back to
18 Q. So in post-secondary school where did you go to college?
19 A. Western Illinois University
20 near the Mississippi river.
21 Q. And any other post-secondary or speciality education?
22 A. Other than the military schools that I've gone through, no.
23 Q. Okay. We'll go through that in a second. Let's first talk about
24 your service. Tell us about when you served for the United States Marine
1 A. I served from September of 1991 to September of 1995 on active
2 duty, and from 1995 to 1996 in a reserve unit.
3 Q. And where did you serve?
4 A. For the Marine Corps I went through boot camp in MCRD in
5 San Diego
6 school, which was my primary job in the Marine Corps, which was on the
7 aviation side of the house, cryogenics, ground support equipment in
8 cryogenics. And then from there I was stationed at Cherry Point,
9 North Carolina for an advanced school, and then, finally, in Hawaii
10 later at Camp Pendleton
11 Q. That was what advanced school?
12 A. It was the systematic breakdown of the -- basically the LOX vans
13 that we used which produced liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen for the
15 Q. And any other specialised training that you received during the
16 Marine Corps?
17 A. My last two years on active duty I was a primary marksmanship
18 instructor for the marine Corps. I basically taught other marines how to
19 shoot the pistol and the rifle.
20 Q. And what was a rank or position did you achieve in the Marine
22 A. I was a corporal which is Enlisted 4.
23 Q. And what clearance level, if any, did you hold as a marine?
24 A. As a marine I held a secret security clearance.
25 Q. And why did -- does every marine hold a secret security
2 A. Not every member of the US
3 depends on what occupational speciality you're in and depending on the
4 classification that dictates to which level of clearance you hold.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the sake of
6 interpretation. Thank you.
7 MR. ALARID:
8 Q. Did you ever see combat or hostile fire during your tenure in the
9 Marine Corps?
10 A. No, I did not.
11 Q. And tell us about the reserve marines. I believe it was 1995,
13 A. Yes, during that time-frame. That was a reserve unit which was
14 located in a suburb of northern Chicago.
15 Q. And any -- what were your duties during that time period?
16 A. I was basically a -- my MOS was not held at that unit so I was
17 being kind of cross-trained, not going basically to the school, military
18 school for a specific job. I was not required to do that time. It was
19 inactive service time, but I chose to do it. After a year because of
20 civilian occupation I chose to leave.
21 Q. And did you get any additional training?
22 A. At the reserve centre, no.
23 Q. Okay. Any change in rank or position?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And how and why did you leave the US Marine Corps?
1 A. I performed my contract which was four years active duty, four
2 years inactive duty time. I was up for re-enlistment. The fields, the
3 field that I belonged to, the job that I belonged to, there was basically
4 the -- the promotions had been frozen due to what we classify as retreads
5 from other MOSs coming into our job field after --
6 Q. Just a moment. What is an MOS? You said that twice.
7 A. I'm sorry. It's a military occupational specialty, is what MOS
8 stands for.
9 Q. And just for those of us that aren't used to the acronyms, would
10 you please tell us at least once what they mean.
11 A. Sure.
12 Q. And did you receive an honourable or dishonourable discharge?
13 A. I an honourable discharge.
14 Q. What is an honourable discharge?
15 A. An honourable discharge is you've provided -- or gone through
16 your time and provided good conduct for the -- for the time that you're
17 in the military.
18 Q. Did you receive a positive or negative appraisal of your service?
19 A. Positive appraisal.
20 Q. And why did you leave?
21 A. Again it was -- times were different. The hierarchy of the
22 Presidency, you know, who was in office. We were under a democratic
23 ruling which is not favourable to people in the military, so I chose to
24 leave at that time and try new avenues back home.
25 Q. And when did you -- in between returning to the military, what
1 did you do?
2 A. Worked several jobs. I was a head hunter for a company that
3 provides positions with corporations for prior service individuals, and I
4 worked construction my last year. Between the break in service of the
5 three year time-frame, I went to college.
6 Q. And tell us about your return to the military.
7 A. After two semesters at Western Illinois University
8 and sought the advice and the help of a recruiter and decided to enlist
9 in the United States Arm specifically for the EOD programme which is
10 explosive ordnance disposal.
11 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, at this time I would like the
12 Court's assistance with 1D22-0611.
13 Q. And what I'm just bringing up here on the screen here,
14 Mr. O'Donnell, is a copy of your latest resume. I believe we tendered
15 with our notice your next to most recent, and we can have it on the
16 screen to follow or refer to as needed.
17 MR. ALARID: We still have a technical difficulty, but we'll keep
18 moving here. What I would like to do is possibly with the Court's
19 assistance briefly as we talk about the military, can we have the
20 court usher put something on the ELMO for us.
21 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I haven't seen these before. Is there
22 a copy we can have to --
23 MR. ALARID: It's going to be just for demonstrative purposes
24 only. It's only meant to make a point. It will take two to three
25 questions. We can e-mail them to you, though, immediately.
1 Q. Now, we -- we kind of looked at this a little bit earlier during
2 our preparations, but just generally speaking, what are the things on the
3 screen here as you know them from your military experience?
4 A. They are representation of military unit or specifically several
5 Marine Corps unit patches, insignia patches.
6 Q. And did you have opportunity during your time in the military to
7 see these particular patches?
8 A. Yes. Actually, I've seen them. The two in the centre with VF-84
9 and the VF-103, I've actually seen those on the aircraft.
10 Q. And what about the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion?
11 A. They're currently a reserve component of -- the 4th
12 Reconnaissance Battalion is currently residing in Albuquerque,
13 New Mexico.
14 Q. And specifically speaking, is it uncommon for the skull and
15 crossbones or the Jolly Roger to be used in military insignias around the
17 A. No, it's not.
18 Q. And do you recognise on here patches from military outside the
19 United States?
20 A. Yes. I believe the bottom -- well, the bottom left Queen's Royal
21 Lancers is a representation of, I believe, a British unit.
22 Q. Okay. And --
23 MR. ALARID: We have no further use of that one. Thank you.
24 Thank you.
25 Q. Now, let's talk about EOD and your time in the army. Let's take
1 it from the beginning, please.
2 A. Okay.
3 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, unless there's an objection from
4 the Prosecution because we just were tinkering with that last night,
5 Your Honour, could we tender the sheet into evidence as representative of
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, anything on that?
8 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, despite never having seen them before
9 just a few seconds ago, I will not object to --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D132, Your Honours.
12 MR. ALARID:
13 Q. Okay. Take us back to 1999 and tell us what -- what you were
14 doing and why.
15 A. I just recently left college after being in the military, and I
16 guess you could say being in the outside world working for the
17 government, Department Of Defence. At the age of 26 I got kind of put
18 off from people sitting behind a desk that hadn't really been out in the
19 world in 20 years trying to tell me how it was like in the studies and
20 course of studies I was going through. So I left to go back in the
21 military and enlisted in the army and left on August 17th, 1999, for
22 Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Basically spent ten days processing
23 paperwork and receiving uniforms. Because I was a marine from a prior
24 service and went through the Marine Corps boot camp, I did not have to go
25 through army boot camp. After that I was basically sent down to Eglin
1 Air Force Base where Nav school EOD, which is the navy school of
2 explosive ordnance disposal is run on Eglin Air Force Base, and that's in
4 Q. Now, just before we get there, why not go back into the marines?
5 Why choose the army?
6 A. Specifically it had everything to do with rank structure. I left
7 the Marine Corps under good standing and held the rank of corporal, but I
8 would have lost rank going back in and then been put at the bottom of the
9 list for promotion, because it's unfair for me to come in after not
10 working for three years and put me at the top of the list where all the
11 guys have been working that are on that promotion list.
12 Q. And so with regards to going into the army, how did you get
13 focussed on EOD?
14 A. I'd actually run into an engineer, a former guy -- a guy
15 basically from the military who was in the civilian sector like myself,
16 and he mentioned the EOD military speciality, the job. And when I sought
17 the advice of the recruiter, I went forth and retested for -- to provide
18 higher scores for jobs and was offered the EOD MOS and took it.
19 Q. Okay. And I believe 1D22-0611 has been released.
20 And so tell us about going into EOD, what training you received,
21 et cetera.
22 A. It's roughly a nine -- a nine-month course. But due to
23 academics, medical, it can take longer. I arrived in September of 1999.
24 I didn't graduate until February of 2001. I spent six months upon
25 arrival at the school waiting for the army and the Marine Corps to decide
1 what security clearance they were going give me because I still held a
2 secret from the Marine Corps, but the army had started the -- basically
3 the paperwork to grant me another clearance. So while that paperwork was
4 trying to get ciphered through, I sat at the school basically just
5 twiddling thumbs for six months.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, did he say what EOD meant?
7 MR. ALARID: He did, Your Honour.
8 Q. But please repeat to the Court, please?
9 A. The acronym EOD stands for -- the acronym EOD stands for
10 explosive ordnance disposal.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks.
12 MR. ALARID:
13 Q. Well, let's talk about the explosive ordnance disposal specialist
14 course from February 2001. What specifically is the subject matter of
15 the course?
16 A. The subject matter of the course is the understanding and the
17 learning of the rendering safe of conventional military munitions which
18 are your regular basically explosive devices, chemical munitions, nuclear
19 munitions, and also improvised explosive devices.
20 Q. Now, where -- and again, where was this course held?
21 A. It's at the Nav school EOD, which is the -- that acronym stands
22 for navy school explosive ordnance disposal, which resides at Eglin Air
23 Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It's in the panhandle of the
25 Q. And what kind of -- what kind of instructors were there for you?
1 A. The instructors were -- they're military EOD technicians that
2 held the rank of master badges. Basically that means that they'd been in
3 the service working the job for over eight years. Senior NCOs, officers,
4 basically the individuals had performed their duties for that job and had
5 gone back to the schoolhouse to train the next generation coming in.
6 Q. And specifically -- specifically, but briefly, take us through
7 the training you received.
8 A. It was broken down. The school itself, the curriculum was broken
9 down into several different phases. Ordnance recognition by colour
10 codes, bar codes, understanding the different types of ordnance that
11 exist in the world. Your projected ordnance, your placed ordnance which
12 would be your land-mines, being able to positively identify a grenade
13 from an artillery piece. From there we went into the actual breakdown of
14 different types of ordnance from -- there was a ground phase which dealt
15 with everything that was -- you deal in type of a land war, land-mines,
16 projectiles, rockets, grenades. We moved to air and there was two phases
17 of that, which basically anything that's delivered by an aircraft or shot
18 from some type of a vehicle or emplacement which would be your guided
19 missiles, you know, large-base ordnance items. We dealt with
20 surface-to-surface, air-to-air type of pieces of ordnance. We moved into
21 another phase which had dealt nothing but chemical warfare, learning
22 the -- learning what happens to individuals that are exposed to certain
23 chemicals, how they affect you, proper procedures in approaching a piece
24 of ordnance that is a suspected chemical, you know, how to dress up
25 properly, decon, all that stuff. We moved into improvised explosive
1 devices, and then the last phase was nuclear devices.
2 Q. And what specifically did you learn about post-blast
4 A. At the schoolhouse, nothing.
5 Q. Okay. But what is post-blast exploitation?
6 A. Post-blast exploitation is arriving on site after a detonation
7 has occurred, some type of an explosive ambush has occurred; being able
8 to cipher through all the material that's there and through
9 fragmentation; being able to, you know, see the emplacement, how they
10 went about initiating the device, impacts, damage done to whatever the
11 target was. You can move forward and systematically make an assumption,
12 technical assumption as far as what type of a device was use.
13 Q. Okay. And could the -- did you receive a certificate or degree,
14 and did you complete the course?
15 A. Yes. I was -- I graduated on February 6 of 2001 and received the
16 basic EOD badge which is a -- it's a badge that we wear on active duty on
17 our uniforms, combat uniforms, and also our dress uniforms, and was
18 awarded a certificate of completion of that course.
19 MR. ALARID: And specifically with the Court's assistance could
20 we call up 1D22-0598.
21 Q. Okay. And can you identify this document, please.
22 A. This is my graduation certificate from Nav school EOD awarding me
23 the -- the EOD badge, basic badge, and basically allowing me to provide
24 services as an EOD technician for the United States Army.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I would tender this certificate into
2 evidence, please.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D133, Your Honours.
5 MR. ALARID: And could we bring back the resume for reference
7 Q. Now, I'm just looking at your resume, and we can follow along. I
8 note -- I note that you had other training courses in the army, notably a
9 platoon leadership development course.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Tell us about that.
12 A. As you can -- I don't know if you noticed, but on the certificate
13 it said SPC
14 that's an E4, which is the equivalent of a corporal in the United States
15 Marine Corp. To become a sergeant on the army side of the house as a
16 soldier has nothing to do with the EOD side of the house. But at that
17 level you have to go through a platoon leadership development course
18 PLDC, which they train you basically to -- in the responsibilities of
19 becoming the next highest rank which would be an E5 or what they consider
20 a buck sergeant.
21 Q. And tell us about the air assault course.
22 A. The air assault course is the army's course on how to basically
23 repel out of helicopters in tactical situations, and it was necessary for
24 me to go through that course while between deployments from Iraq and
2 by vehicle is not always the easiest way. What normally could take five
3 to ten minutes by aircraft could take 12 to 15 hours by vehicle due to
4 the terrain. So we needed to basically be able to work so that we could
5 fly or move our team and equipment in helicopters from point A to point B
6 and be able to do it in a tactical aspect. That school provided us with
7 the certificate and the training that allowed us to that.
8 Q. And I apologise with regards to the platoon leadership
9 development course, did you complete that course?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And did you --
12 A. That was it the Fort Benning
13 Q. And did you receive a certificate or something --
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. And what about the air assault course?
16 A. Yes. It was a 12-day course. I completed it through physical
17 tests and received a certificate from that as well.
18 Q. And I note -- for reference to the court assistance page, 3 of
19 the resume is covering this, I note from the screen.
20 And what about the basic NCO course?
21 A. The basic NCO course or what we call BNOC. It's again -- it's an
22 army school that provides you the responsible -- the training and
23 responsibilities moving from the E5 rank or sergeant to the E6 rank and
24 staff sergeant. It is a prerequisite because at the E6 level or staff
25 sergeant level for EOD you become the team leader of the team. So to
1 complete that course is a prerequisite to actually being able to become a
2 team leader for -- basically for the EOD team. That one was completed in
3 Huntsville, Alabama
4 specific NCO training and then numerous weeks of basically about half.
5 It's split up over ten weeks, half of that is running, training scenarios
6 as a team leader, practising your techniques and what not as far as what
7 relates to the EOD side of the house.
8 Q. And taking us back to 2001, you had said something about a
9 difference in security clearance between the Marine Corps and the army,
10 and there was a waiting period. Tell the Court about that.
11 A. Prior to graduating from the EOD school when I first arrived
12 there, I still held a secret clearance in -- with the Marine Corps
13 because I was still technically under my time period for my eight-year
14 contract, although I was on the inactive part of it. The latter half was
15 inactive. The army started paperwork on a clearance for me, and that's
16 what -- that paperwork shuffle took -- why it took so long for me to
17 actually get into a class and start the course. The army granted me, due
18 to the job speciality with the EOD field, a top secret security
19 clearance, which means that I could provide support for the
20 Secret Service to help protect the President, vice-President, and
21 Heads of State that are deemed protection by -- by the Secret Service.
22 We assist them in clearing venues.
23 Q. And let's talk about your deployment and where you served your
24 period in the army. Start back after your school. And what did you do?
25 A. The -- I graduated in February 2001. By April 2001 I was
1 stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.
2 MR. ALARID: And with the Court's assistance, could we move to
3 page 2, please.
4 Q. Tell us about Fort Benning
5 A. Fort Benning
6 boot camp for the army. They also have a ranger battalion there. So a
7 lot in dealing with infantry tactics happens at Fort Benning
8 As part of army -- or the United States Army EOD, we are tasked
9 with providing UXO and IED protection for the continental land mass of
10 the United States. So even though I was stationed at Fort Benning
11 jurisdiction was 56 counties in three different States. So Georgia,
13 dealing with possible -- a scenario would be a World War II veteran
14 passes away and a wife finds something in the garage that is a piece of
15 ordnance. They'd call us out to come take care of it. So we provide
16 that assistance in the civilian sector on top of -- soldiers are going
17 through grenade training out on one of the ranges and they throw one and
18 it's a dud, so therefore we -- when I mean dud, it doesn't function as
19 designed. So then we'd have to go out there and remove the explosive
20 hazard so they could complete their training.
21 Q. And what other things did you do during your time in
22 Fort Benning
23 A. I assisted in training of officers and also enlisted soldiers for
24 UXO and improvised explosive device threats in combat situations. I also
25 provided support for the United States Secret Service in protection of
1 foreign dignitaries and also department of state officials.
2 Q. And I note six range clearances. What's that?
3 A. Range clearances are impact areas where they have targets
4 established. And when you consistently shoot at a target with explosive
5 ammunition, you tend to destroy the target. So we'd have to clear the
6 range of all explosive hazards so that the maintenance guys could bring
7 new targets out into the range or impact area safely without causing any
8 injury to themselves.
9 Q. Were you giving -- given any instructional duties?
10 A. Can -- would you mind clarifying?
11 Q. Were you an instructor?
12 A. Yes, I taught UXO, which is unidentified explosive ordnance. I
13 taught UXO safety and also awareness of UXOs and IEDs in combat
14 operations, providing that training at Fort Benning.
15 Q. Tell us about your deployments.
16 A. In September of 2003 we -- we deployed to Iraq from Fort Benning
18 in Iraq
19 that were added to our company to provide EOD support for combat
20 operations in five sectors of Baghdad
21 our company were two army teams and then two navy teams. We basically
22 broke it down with the ten teams to have two teams in each sector
23 providing support, and each sector was basically under a Brigade-size
24 element type of military unit.
25 Q. Tell the Court what that is. Explain the gradation.
1 A. A Brigade is -- you could have four battalions within a Brigade.
2 You have four platoons within a battalion. So you're roughly looking at
3 several hundred men, possibly close to a thousand in a Brigade-size
4 element. Depends on if it's an armoured unit or an infantry unit, that
5 dictates basically how many people they have in the units themselves.
6 Q. And tell the Court what kind of things you did during your time
7 in Iraq
8 A. We -- we provided basically what we were doing, the same thing we
9 were doing in Fort Benning
10 technicians provide emergency response. When a unit is out on patrol and
11 they roll by or they notice something that's suspicious, we are called
12 out to remove any explosive hazard or render safe any improvised
13 explosive device that's established or set in that area for explosive
14 ambush and destroying Coalition Forces.
15 Q. And tell the Court about your missions and -- and what you
16 achieved during that time.
17 A. We basically provided support for 1st Brigade, 1st AD. They're
18 an armoured unit based out of Germany
19 they're not any longer. We ran over 300 missions for them in a six-month
20 period, just my team alone. The company itself in the five sectors of
22 which are unexploded ordnance that's laying in somebody's backyard or
23 found just out in the middle of nowhere. We're called in to remove the
24 explosive hazard. In removing it we would make sure that everything's
25 safe for transport, provide transport to a safe disposal area and then
1 dispose of the ordnance. And we -- we provided these -- we basically ran
2 through these missions so that the insurgents would not go along and
3 collect this unexploded ordnance and then turn it into an improvised
4 device and use it against the Coalition Forces.
5 Q. And I have from your resume the removal and destruction of over
6 8.000 pieces of hazardous ordnance.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Tell us about that.
9 A. Well, it wasn't all 8.000 at once. We showed up -- one specific
10 mission we got called out on was a -- a unit was out on patrol and they
11 came across an area where mortar rounds, 60-millimetre and also
12 81-millimetre mortar rounds were just laying out on the ground, and they
13 gave us the grid coordinate for it and then we rolled out with our
14 security to the incident site, made sure everything was safe to
15 transport, and positively identify everything, all the ordnance and fuses
16 that were there, and then moved to the destruction of that ordnance. And
17 that specific time we found 1.968 mortar rounds.
18 Q. Now, did you see any actual combat in Iraq?
19 A. Yes we were fired upon with small-arms fire and also RPGs which
20 are the rocket propelled grenades. And we were also, my team
21 specifically, was explosively ambushed twice in our combat operations in
23 Q. Did you have any investigative work?
24 A. We provided support for the Brigade in the extent of a tasking
25 would come down after a unit had been ambushed, and we would go out and
1 do a post-blast analysis of the incident site and provide any technical
2 reports that we had to directly to the battalion commander or Brigade
4 Q. And so tell us how you would conduct a post-blast analysis.
5 A. When we teach post-blast or response to a post-blast, when we
6 teach that to regular soldiers, we try to tell them to keep out of the
7 incident -- or the actual site of impact or detonation, and upon arrival
8 at the scene, working in a systematic either clockwise or
9 counter-clockwise way of manoeuvring, we work from the outside in,
10 towards the actual site of detonation, providing details of fragmentation
11 that we find. We look at the actual target itself, how the impact --
12 what type of damage it did to the actual target. That could tell us what
13 type of size or narrow down the size of the ordnance item, looking for
14 components of initiation.
15 Q. What is that?
16 A. Initiation components would -- would be your cell phones, your
17 cell phones, your pagers, garage door openers, your key fobs for your
18 remote entry or remote start of your vehicles. Anything with a radio
19 frequency or remote radio frequency can be utilised to initiate an
20 explosive device with the proper electronics to explosively ambush
22 Q. And what kind of sites did you investigate post-blast? What
23 different scenarios?
24 A. We did several that were off route which means vehicles were
25 travelling in a certain direction and the detonation happened to either
1 the right or left side of the column as it was moving in its the -- you
2 know, moving in this direction. We performed post-blast on -- one
3 scenario was -- actual incident was route Pluto, which is one of the main
4 arteries of travel in north-eastern Baghdad. On a catwalk -- they had on
5 the opposite side of the catwalk, they'd hung a 155 with an RF package,
6 and as the convoy was travelling along route Pluto and one of the
7 vehicles passed underneath the catwalk they detonated it on top of the
8 vehicle approximately ten feet above the gunner's head. That specific
9 incident, there were four occupants in the vehicle. Three perished
10 instantly. The gunner was shoved into the vehicle, into the truck
11 itself. When we arrived on screen the vehicle had stopped burning, but
12 the bodies were still on fire inside the vehicle.
13 Q. And just as part of your combat experience, have you seen people
14 die by fire?
15 A. Yes. Yes, I have. It's not a pretty sight.
16 Q. Did you have any post-exploitation examinations of structures?
17 A. Depending on where the incident sites -- the post-blasts were,
18 you could have, and there were at times, fragmentation patterns on walls
19 not necessarily inside of a structure, but the wall, pylon, et cetera,
20 became collateral damage or received impact marks from a detonation.
21 Q. During your -- your time in -- in Baghdad or other combat
22 operations, did you have opportunity to enter structures that had been --
23 where explosives had been used?
24 A. Yes. To the extent of caches were held in buildings and
25 soldiers, foreign nationals on top of Americans had at one point or
1 another gone into these certain areas and accidentally unknowingly set
2 off booby-traps which detonated inside the -- the whole weapons cache
4 Q. And have you also been in structures that have been attacked by
5 incendiary explosives or just simple fire?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And as part of your regular combat operations and experience?
8 A. Yes. These incidents happened overseas and in Iraq
10 Q. Now, how long did your term in Iraq last?
11 A. It was a six-month deployment.
12 Q. And what did you do after that?
13 A. We left in April of '04 and arrived back at Fort Benning
14 approximately two weeks off, and then it was an election year in '04, so
15 we -- we provided support. For the remainder of that year, we provided
16 quite a bit of support for the Secret Service due to the elections and
17 then also completed mandatory army training schools, and then, you know,
18 I got air assault done prior to going to Afghanistan.
19 Q. And tell us about your deployment to Afghanistan.
20 A. Almost a year later we deployed from Fort Benning, Georgia
21 straight into Kandahar
22 different. We had several -- several units in -- throughout -- spread
23 throughout the country that we provided support to. We did not have the
24 ten teams in five sectors like we did in Baghdad. My team -- myself and
25 my team went to provide support for one battalion, but that battalion's
1 AO is the size of New Jersey. So it's a huge area compared so what we
2 did in Iraq
3 Q. AO, that's area of operation?
4 A. Yes, I'm sorry. That's area of operation.
5 Q. And I notice that you have the designation of team leader. At
6 this point in time what were your responsibilities as team leader?
7 A. As a team leader I was responsible for the missions completed by
8 the team. The -- basically the safety and livelihood of the soldiers
9 that were underneath me was my direct responsibility to -- for us to
10 perform our missions in a combat operation setting without any harm or
11 death or destruction basically to any of our property or ourselves.
12 Q. And did you have any opportunity for post-blast exploitation work
13 in Afghanistan
14 A. Yes. On a much smaller scale. The unit that we were providing
15 support for was an infantry unit based out of Vicenza, Italy
16 would receive or get into fire fights, and I basically did post-blast on
17 wounded that came in trying to depict what type of a -- whether it was a
18 booby-trap or a grenade or, you know, what the munition was that caused
19 the inflictions that the individual had received.
20 Q. Now, why is it important to determine the type of munitions for a
21 post-blast exploitation?
22 A. Several reasons. You can -- if it's a chemical device that
23 could -- that -- that steers us in a whole different kind of scheme of
24 works as far as how we treat the wounded and then also anybody going back
25 into that area, because most chemical munitions, the chemicals themselves
1 are residual. They stick around for quite a while. We didn't have to
2 deal with any of those.
3 The -- if I can do a post-blast analysis on a booby-trap and I
4 can identify key parts of the booby-trap, I can teach soldiers what to
5 look for when they go back out into sector so that way they don't become
6 victims of the same device again. The same thing with the improvised
7 explosive devices. Much different dynamics in the building of -- of IEDs
8 in Afghanistan
9 untravelled for several days to weeks. They utilised victim-operated
10 devices basically. And when I say that, I mean a vehicle would have to
11 go over an improvised switch and set the switch off in order to function
12 the device.
13 Q. Okay. As opposed to one being set off remotely?
14 A. Right. They wouldn't sit there for weeks on end waiting for
15 somebody to come by to -- in certain areas to actually physically hit the
16 button on a remote button on a key fob or whatever. So they would set up
17 a devise that would go off whenever it was triggered, and that could be
19 local national in a truck, or it could be cattle. There was one that was
20 set off by a cow.
21 Q. And what security clearance did you hold at this level?
22 A. Top secret security clearance throughout my entire time in the
23 United States Army.
24 Q. And what commendations or medals did you receive in your service?
25 A. I received three army commendation medals.
1 Q. And if we could go to page 3, please of the resume.
2 MR. ALARID: And if we could go to page 3, please, of the resume.
3 THE WITNESS: I received three army commendation medals, one for
4 each tour overseas and one for the five years that I was stationed at
5 Fort Benning
6 good conduct medals. Those were on a -- on basically a time-frame. If
7 you are a good soldier for so many years, you get a good conduct medal.
8 I received a Marine Corps good conduct medal for when I was in the Marine
9 Corps. The national service medal is anybody in the military service
10 that is serving during a time of war regardless if you actually go
11 overseas or not, you get a national defence ribbon. So I received one
12 for the first Gulf War and then one or the global war on terrorism. The
13 Afghan campaign medal is self-explanatory. The global war on terrorism
14 expeditionary medal and the global war on terrorism service medal were
15 for the times that I was in Iraq
16 professional development ribbons are ribbons that are awarded with the
17 certificates after the platoon leadership development course and the
18 basic non-commissioned officer course. And then the army service ribbon
19 is self-explanatory. It's a ribbon given for service in the United
20 States Army.
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. And after your discharge from the military what have you done
23 with yourself?
24 A. I've been doing contact -- contract work basically for companies
25 that have department of defence contracts or US army corps of engineers
1 contracts. When I immediately left the service in September of 2007, we
2 did -- I was hired on by a company that we went around and basically
3 cleaned up old military installations searching the ground surface and
4 subsurface clearance of explosive items. I don't -- I don't believe I
5 listed that on the resume. I only ran two or three contracts. They were
6 very short.
7 In May of 2008, I joined a company NEK and went and provided
8 technical expertise for department of defence. The inter-agency would
9 have been JIEDDO, which is the joint improvised explosive device defeat
10 organisation, it's a multi-coalition force, and went overseas and
11 provided technical expertise on exploitation for United States Army units
12 in the area of north-eastern Baghdad
13 Q. And just backing up slightly. What military grade at the end of
14 your last deployment, what was your correlative of rank?
15 A. I held the rank of a GS13 for my time with NEK providing support
16 for the army units in Iraq
17 Q. And what is a GS13?
18 A. It's the equivalent of a captain or major as far as officers are
19 concerned in the military.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's the equivalent of a captain or major.
21 Which is it?
22 THE WITNESS: Depending on which branch of service you're working
23 with, it's either -- your equivalent to a captain or major. It's in a
24 grey area between the two, sir.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks.
1 MR. ALARID:
2 Q. And what -- what -- who participated in the multi-coalition force
3 under JIEDDO?
4 A. We worked with officers from Canada, officers from the Canadian
5 Royal Army, from the Australian Royal Army. I've worked with British
6 officers and soldiers for training. Specifically for JIEDDO was Canadian
7 and also Australian.
8 Q. And at the end of your service were you teaching or training
9 other soldiers?
10 A. Are we referring to while I was on active duty or --
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Okay. While I was on active duty we continued to provide
13 training for soldiers that are not within our job skill-set, i.e., your
14 infantry or your mechanics or your armoured -- armoured -- you know, the
15 tanks. We provided the same types of classes, UXO identification and
16 counter-IED and also IED recognition. Basically providing classes for
17 them so that when they go into combat operations they know what to look
18 for and what to stay away from for their own safety.
19 Q. And what about any instruction or training work during your time
20 at NEK?
21 A. We were in -- I mean, we provided those types of courses for the
22 soldiers that we were assisting and embedded with in north-eastern
24 soldiers that were there. There were also air force EOD teams embedded
25 with us at the forward operating base that we were actually at.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. So worked hand in hand with them to provide training for the
4 MR. ALARID: At this time, Your Honour, I would tender him as an
5 expert in explosives, explosive recognition, and post-exploitation of
6 blast exploitation, and tender the CV into evidence, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have no objection to the CV going
9 into evidence, and clearly Mr. O'Donnell does have some areas of
10 expertise. It seems to me that it's mostly related to the identification
11 of ordnance, unexploded ordnance and the identification of improvised
12 explosive devices. Could ask that the Chamber reserve its decision on
13 whether he's an expert. Because one of the things that I think the
14 Chamber needs to consider is whether his testimony, the opinions that he
15 gives, are within the boundaries of the expertise, because a person could
16 be an expert in one matter, but then when they stray into giving opinions
17 about another matter, they would not be considered an expert. It may be
18 very well, Your Honour, that at the conclusion of his evidence, I will
19 not be contesting it. But I would ask that it be reserved now, and I
20 will explore the matter further with him in my cross-examination.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
22 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I think from a foundational perspective
23 we've met the burden of establishing his area expertise. I think the
24 cross-examination that Mr. Groome was talking about would go to the
25 weight to the testimony that the Court would give.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I agree.
2 MR. ALARID: And so, Your Honour, is he accepted as an expert in
3 post-blast exploitation? Explosive devices.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. ALARID: Thank you.
6 Q. Let's talk a little bit before we talk about going to Visegrad.
7 And let's -- take us through the standard operating procedures, if you
8 will, for examination of a site post explosion or incident.
9 A. On approaching a scene, you're going to want to get witness
10 accounts of what transpired. You're going to have photographic evidence
11 of the site. You're going to graph off the site if -- if need be to
12 determine and chronologically basically write down where you found
13 certain components of the device. Samples can be taken of -- for
14 explosive residue which can narrow down the type of device that was used
15 as well, and then also collateral damage to either human individuals or
16 property. And the impact that it had on those individuals or property
17 can dictate how the device was established to attack or explosively
18 attack the target. Basically summarise all that information in a type of
19 report with photographs to -- to help support it, and that's -- that's
20 the way we would handle it while we were on active duty.
21 Q. And on active duty how many post-blast exploitation reports did
22 you complete or assignments?
23 A. On active duty I did approximately 15, 14 post-blast incidents in
25 completed two.
1 Q. Okay. And what kind of things in terms of -- of collateral
2 damage to individuals or property what -- what do you mean by that?
3 What's important to look for?
4 A. Basically you can have a low -- you can have a low explosive or a
5 device that has a minimal amount of explosives, that is a high
6 frag-producing device that can create quite a bit of damage to an
7 individual or an area, a vehicle or property, and -- or you can have a
8 device that has a lot of explosives in it with very little material that
9 would produce fragmentation where the blast overpressure is going to
10 provide all the destructive power to the target.
11 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, before we move too far afield --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Alarid, please.
13 MR. ALARID: Yes, I apologise.
14 Your Honour, we would tender into evidence the CV of
15 Mr. O'Donnell.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit 1D134, Your Honours.
18 MR. ALARID: And at this time could we pull up 1D22-0599.
19 Q. Now -- now your -- Mr. O'Donnell, before we get into the meat and
20 bones of your investigation, tell us about fragmentation and what kind of
21 things can be considered as fragmentation as part of an explosion?
22 A. Fragmentations is classified as any type of material that is part
23 of the device or moved by the actual explosion of the device that would
24 provide destructive power to either property or personnel.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. So you can have the device itself, if it's in military munition,
2 let's take that, for instance, a military munition, if it's a
3 heavy-cased, and when I say heavy-cased, a thick walled metal material,
4 that in itself is a fragmentation. If you have a thin-skinned type of
5 military piece of ordnance, you're looking for more of a blast
6 overpressure effect instead of fragmentation. If the explosion is big
7 enough, it can -- individuals standing around it can become secondary
8 fragmentation because the blast overpressure tears them apart, makes them
9 or parts of them fragmentation.
10 Q. And that goes also as well with a vehicle that's on top of the
11 IED or -- or structures that are next to the IED and things like that?
12 A. Take, for instance, vehicle-born IEDS, improvised explosive
13 devices, that's basically your car bomb. The engine block, the vehicle
14 itself, the axles, the tires, the lug nuts, the seats inside, depending
15 on the amount of explosive used, all of those materials can become
16 fragmentation to help destroy whatever the target is.
17 Q. And as part of your -- okay. And as part of the your duties and
18 expertise, are you required to be familiar with ordnance from around the
20 A. Absolutely. Going through EOD school, it's probably 50/50 down
21 the line as far as how much US
22 ordnance we study as well.
23 Q. And briefly describe the components of an improvised or an
24 explosive device.
25 A. Your improvised explosive device is just going to -- in a very
1 simplistic manner you're going to need an explosive.
2 Q. What kind of things are explosives?
3 A. Would you clarify?
4 Q. Well are there different kinds in terms of chemical -- is
5 gasoline an explosive?
6 A. Gasoline can be used as an explosive, yes. The vapours from
7 gasoline liquid can be used as an explosive. That would be more falling
8 into the lines of an incendiary type of device because it provides so
9 much fire and heat and thermal energy to the actual target.
10 Q. And tell us about something that would deal more with gas
11 overpressure and fragmentation.
12 A. In Iraq
13 they would take the trigger mechanism and wire it with a battery source,
14 power source, usually batteries, into a blasting cap. When the blasting
15 cap would be put into an actual ordnance, piece of ordnance which was
16 designed to detonate. The ordnance didn't necessarily have to have its
17 fusing that came with it, didn't have to have its fusing on it. The
18 blasting cap itself holds a primary explosive in it, something that's
19 very sensitive to heat, shock, and friction.
20 Q. Tell us about a blasting cap.
21 A. The blasting cap, mercury fulminate. There's another one,
22 another explosive that they use, it's extremely sensitive to heat, shock,
23 and friction. So an electric current going through it will set it off.
24 Q. What about a -- what about a lit fuse?
25 A. In our training in the EOD school we are -- we're taught
1 basically to provide an explosive train to sympathetically detonate
2 whatever we're trying to get rid of, i.e., you know, the ordnance items
3 in demolition procedures. So you either have what they call a
4 nonelectric blasting cap where you attach that to the end of time fuse,
5 time fuse being a plastic cord with gunpowder through the centre of it,
6 and it burns. Depending on the amount of time fuse you have and also
7 humidity factors, that will basically tell you how much time you have
8 once you light it to get away from the device before it detonates.
9 Q. And can in combination with the blasting cap, can a time lit fuse
10 be used to explode other chemical ordnance?
11 A. Not chemical ordnance.
12 Q. I'm sorry, yes.
13 A. Chemical ordnance would be your phosgene or your lucite or your
14 mustard gas type of ordnance items. Your explosive ordnance, we would
15 run -- we ran incidents regularly where they would use an electric
16 blasting cap or some type of fuse-lit device that would burn down, or
17 when triggered, the current would go through the blasting cap, and that
18 blasting cap was embedded in the actual explosives of the military
19 munition. So you have a projectile that's 105-millimetre projectile.
20 The fuse is screwed into the top of the projectile because it's basically
21 a big bullet and shot down range from an artillery piece. They would
22 scrape away the explosives in the fuse well so that they could glue or
23 plaster the blasting cap into the fuse well, put it up against the
24 secondary explosives or the main charge in the actual device, and when
25 it's set off or they triggered it, it would function just like a regular
1 artillery piece.
2 Q. Without the barrel?
3 A. Without the barrel. Without travelling down range and without
4 the proper fusing that goes with that piece of ordnance.
5 Q. Okay. And tell us the difference between a fire-inducing
6 explosive device versus a gas overpressure-inducing explosive device.
7 A. Most of your fire-producing explosive devices are going to be
8 explosive from the vapours that build up, your Molotov cocktail is you're
9 lighting the -- it's in -- I would say an incendiary -- an improvised
10 incendiary device. And you light the fabric that's hanging outside the
11 bottle and when it -- when the glass breaks and spreads liquid
12 everywhere, it's ignited because the fabric's on fire. Your incendiary
13 devices are not as destructive immediately because there isn't that much
14 of a blast overpressure effect. They turn to -- tend to explode and do
15 damage through thermal transfer more than -- than actually exploding and
16 hitting -- hitting the target with a shock wave which is the blast
18 Q. What causes the fire in an incendiary device versus a regular
19 explosive device?
20 A. As long as you have -- as long as you have an oxidiser and some
21 type of accelerant, it can be anything. It can be gasoline, it could be
22 rubbing alcohol.
23 Q. What about magnesium, like incendiary grenade?
24 A. An incendiary grenade is basically manufactured to provide just
25 that. It's destructive power through extreme heat to destroy whatever
1 it's put up against.
2 Q. Now if you were assuming an incendiary grenade, would you assume
3 that everything around it would catch fire?
4 A. If it wasn't -- if it wasn't protected or buffered from the
5 actual -- the magnesium or the grenade itself, then, yes, the extreme
6 potential of everything going up in flames is there, yes.
7 Q. Now with a regular explosive with gas overpressure, does that
8 start any kind of fire? Would there be a perception of a fire at the
10 A. Not initially, no.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. Once the explosive -- once the explosive device is set off
13 that -- that instant where the chemical breakdown of the explosives is
14 going on with normal ordnance items, you're not going to have -- you're
15 not going to have fire. With conventional ordnance items you're not
16 going to have fire.
17 Q. Are you going have a flash?
18 A. There will be, yes, you will have a flash.
19 Q. From a layperson's perspective is that flash considered fire?
20 A. No, I do not consider it fire.
21 Q. I'm talking about just a Joe Schmo observer.
22 A. Someone that's not trained in explosives or the demolition
23 procedures could possibly view that as thermal energy or fire, yes.
24 Q. Now let's -- I think it's time to move forward to Visegrad and
25 your travel there. But before you -- you went to Visegrad, to
1 Pionirska Street
2 you review before going to the scene?
3 A. I reviewed a couple witness statements and also photographic
4 evidence of the site. I don't recall when those pictures were taken, but
5 that was the only material that I reviewed.
6 Q. Okay. And with regard to witness statements, what relevant
7 information did you need to begin to think about this from a post-blast
8 exploitation perspective?
9 A. One -- one of the witnesses described getting something
10 detonating or going off and getting physically thrown out one of the
11 windows in the building. And that on top of the witness statement of --
12 they heard gunshots and screams for half hour to an hour after the
13 incident, the initial incident, led me to believe that an explosive
14 device was used to stun or basically make people incoherent inside the
15 room, and I moved -- I formulated that and moved forward with that once
16 we arrived in Visegrad.
17 Q. Now, why -- you know, it -- you were also provided a copy of the
18 indictment against Mr. Lukic.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now --
21 A. I -- Go ahead, I'm sorry.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between question and answer.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. We have to take our time. I just got keyed in because we both
1 speak English, and yet we have -- the translators have to keep up with
2 us, so we'll try and observe a pause between the question and answer.
3 A. Sorry.
4 Q. Now you were provided a copy of the indictment, and you are aware
5 that the Pionirska Street charge is centred around the theory that an
6 accelerant was placed on the carpet and the floorboard and that these
7 people were burned by conventional means inside this area. Why is the
8 witness statements with regards to the shootings and the screams relevant
9 in your investigation?
10 A. I feel that the -- the witness testimony or statement, the
11 witness statement of an accelerant being utilised and the room going up
12 in flames is inconsistent with individual -- or the witness hearing for
13 half an hour to an hour after the initial onset of the situation of
14 gunshots and screams. If --
15 Q. Why is that?
16 A. If you have a room that you're utilising a mass amounts of
17 accelerant and you put people in there and you ignite it, those
18 individuals are going to succumb to smoke inhalation within a matter of
19 minutes, not half an hour to an hour later. And there wouldn't be a need
20 for gunshots.
21 Q. And -- and just from your personal experience of seeing people
22 die by fire, how quickly were those individuals overcome by the flames
23 that they were engulfed in?
24 MR. GROOME: Objection, Your Honour. I believe we're straying
25 outside Mr. O'Donnell's expertise.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
2 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, simply from his personal experience in
3 the field, I believe he has a relevant information with regards to his
4 observations of how quickly fire can really overcome a human being versus
5 the ability to let out screams and whatnot for a significant period of
6 time. It's a minor point but meant to further a theory of modality and
7 liability of this incident.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 THE WITNESS: The instances, specifically where we dealt with
11 individuals that had succumbed to fire in Iraq, the -- it didn't --
12 specifically the one -- the one situation I talked about earlier where
13 the four individuals were attacked in the Humvee and the gunner was
14 pushed into the truck with the explosive device detonating above -- above
15 the vehicle, those -- at least the gunner was killed instantly. The
16 other individuals possibly could have been mortally wounded but not
17 killed instantly. We were on site within 25 minutes, and their bodies
18 were still burning. So I believe it was the detonation and the
19 fragmentation that killed them more so than the fire, but their bodies
20 were on fire.
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. Now, you opine that the witness statements were leaning you
23 towards that an explosive device was either used to, and you said, stun
24 the people, but could people suffer mortal wounds and/or be injured
25 severely in a closed environment like that?
1 A. Absolutely. An explosive device, depending on the number of
2 people in that room, an explosive device going off could, even if the
3 individual didn't receive damage to themselves via fragmentation, could
4 have -- could have perished due to the blast overpressure scrambling
5 their brains in their head.
6 Q. Okay. Now, let's go specifically to Visegrad. What did you do?
7 And tell us how you got there and ...
8 A. My services were requested to come provide exploitation of the
9 house at Visegrad -- or in Visegrad at Pionirska Street.
10 Q. And how were you contacted?
11 A. Via e-mail and phone.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. From yourself.
14 Q. Okay. And who -- who provided you the materials and the witness
16 A. You provided me the copies of the witness statements and also the
17 photographic evidence.
18 Q. Okay. And how was your travel arranged?
19 A. I travelled with the arson investigators and also Mr. Jenkins
20 from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and we arrived in Belgrade, layover in
22 on the road that evening. And then we arrived in Visegrad, I think, at
23 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning on the 29th.
24 Q. And tell us about your examination of the Pionirska site.
25 A. Upon arrival at the Pionirska site, I -- I with -- withheld
1 initiating my investigation, allowing the arson investigators to go in
2 and do their photographic evidence in there. And basically start and
3 complete their investigation. Mine is -- my -- in going in and basically
4 doing the exploitation of the site, it's not as evasive as theirs are. I
5 was actually digging in the walls looking for fragmentation. So I wanted
6 them to get their photographic evidence on what they found on site
7 undisturbed done prior to me going in and looking for actual
8 fragmentation in the walls.
9 Q. Now, you know, just from a -- putting it in perspective, the date
10 of the alleged incident is June 14th, 1992
11 you're not getting there until 2009?
12 A. I think it has everything to do with being relevant. In 15 years
13 or close to 15 years, there will be no traces of explosive residue
14 whatever. Based off the photographic evidence, you can see how the
15 structure itself has just decayed. And it's -- I mean, the whole place
16 has fallen apart. Any type of evidence that would have been left via the
17 device or an explosive device would be gone. Vagrants -- we found human
18 excrement and trash in this area, within the room itself, so it obviously
19 had been occupied by people, a lot of people, over the last 15 years.
20 Q. Okay. Now, let's just --
21 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I'm not going to tender the report at
22 this time, but we'll mark it for identification and then come back to it
23 after we go through some photographs, if that's okay.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D135, marked for identification,
1 Your Honours.
2 MR. ALARID: And just to get started, could we bring up
3 Y020-3362. Oh, I'm sorry, 3362. I apologise. My bad handwriting.
4 Could we have 3632 -- yes.
5 Q. I just wanted to embarrass you a little bit.
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. Identify this photo, please.
8 A. This is in front of the house at Pionirska. The bottom room, the
9 door correctly over my left shoulder is the room in question. And that's
10 a picture of me standing outside the structure on the 29th of January.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. ALARID: We'll tender this into evidence, Your Honour, before
13 we move on.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D136, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: 29th of January this year?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay.
19 MR. ALARID: All right. Let's bring up, please, Y020-3566.
20 Q. Now, we're going to kind of put you in as if you're walking into
21 the door. And I'm going to show you a series of photographs. And I want
22 you to orientate the Court and describe what we see. And also with the
23 Court's assistance we'd probably be marking some of these photographs as
24 we tender them. So can we give his assistance with use of the pen.
25 Do you recognise this photograph?
1 A. I do. The photograph is of the left wall and the back wall of
2 the room. So the far left corner from the entranceway as you walk in.
3 Q. And were you able to examine these areas both at a distance and
4 close up?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. Okay. And just --
7 A. Thank you.
8 Q. And generally speaking, despite the time and distance, did you
9 find some evidence of the potential that an explosive device had been
10 used in this room?
11 A. Yes. What I found upon entering the room -- in entering the room
12 I decided to proceed to the back wall which is in this picture here and
13 start there working in a clockwise pattern within the room. I found
14 fragmentation marks or impact areas, I should say, impact areas.
15 Q. Please use the pen and circle what you would call an impact area.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 These are the most visible right off the bought.
18 Q. And -- and -- and just tell us what the composition is of the
19 walls as you found them.
20 A. This -- this white area here is a plaster, and we found quite a
21 bit of that throughout the room itself. It's obviously deteriorating.
22 When you go up and actually apply pressure to it, it crumbles right off
23 the foundation or the concrete wall on the back behind it. The room
24 itself is in horrible decay.
25 Q. And can you give us the approximate dimensions of the room?
1 A. Roughly, I didn't -- I personally didn't take measurements.
2 Q. That's fine.
3 A. But roughly I'd have to say it's maybe 20 by 20.
4 Q. And that's in feet?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. You use the term "impact marks." Why be vague in terms of
7 that or --
8 A. Due to the -- the time from the actual incident transpiring and
9 when we were actually able to get there on the 29th and provide
10 exploitation. I'm not going to sit here and say that these are without a
11 shadow of a doubt fragmentation marks or were marks that were made by
12 fragmentation. I use the term "impact mark" because any of the possible
13 individuals that had been in this room over -- or throughout the last
14 15 years could have possibly made these marks with some type of a device,
15 you know, a steel bar or whatever.
16 Q. Okay. And also, how -- how is it relevant that the witness
17 testimony included the firing of weapons?
18 A. Because these impact marks could have been made by bullets as
19 well or ricochets. So if you have individuals actually shooting rounds
20 into a room, they're going to leave holes or indentations in the plaster
21 and concrete, and these would be areas of possible impacts of rounds or
23 Q. Okay. Thank you.
24 MR. ALARID: Could we tender this into evidence right now.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D10 -- I apologise Exhibit 1D137.
2 MR. ALARID:
3 Q. And you stated that the room was in extreme state of decay. What
4 was the contributing factors to this decay?
5 A. Mass amounts of moisture in the room over the last 15 years.
6 Q. And what kind of damage had the moisture caused?
7 A. Exposed rebar in the ceiling, which I believe we'll see in other
8 pictures, is almost completely rusted through. The right wall which is
9 not currently in this photograph is basically falling apart due to -- due
10 to moisture and the fact that the outside of that wall is covered by
11 nothing but earth.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I believe it's close to the time for
14 the break.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're right. We'll take the break now.
16 MR. ALARID: Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Alarid.
20 MR. ALARID: Thank you, Your Honour. And I'm assuming we save --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. ALARID: Assuming we saved the last photograph, we would move
23 on to Y020-3569.
24 Q. Now, looking at these, what do these depict to you from that back
1 A. This is a picture of impact marks on that back wall.
2 Q. Okay.
3 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, can we tender this into evidence.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D138, Your Honours.
6 MR. ALARID: And could we have Y020-3574, please.
7 Q. And what does this depict to you?
8 A. This is very close-up picture of one of the impact marks on that
10 Q. And what does this picture show you or tell you?
11 A. This particular picture shows that the point of trajectory was
12 from the ground floor up due to the ridges at the top of the impact mark
13 and the sloping down at the bottom of the impact mark.
14 Q. And tell me based on your training and experience why you come to
15 this opinion.
16 A. Due to the height of where this impact mark is in the wall, the
17 trajectory of the object was from the floor upwards, and I believe it's
18 at shoulder level on the wall itself.
19 Q. Okay. And just --
20 MR. ALARID: We would tender this into evidence, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D139, Your Honours.
23 MR. ALARID: And we'll bring back Y020-3566, please.
24 Q. And put this particular hole in perspective to an unmarked
25 version of the back wall.
1 Okay. Approximately can you tell where this particular
2 photograph is on the back wall?
3 A. Yes. The last photograph would be this --
4 MR. ALARID: Okay. With the Court's assistance could we use the
5 marker, please.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you. The last photograph is of this
7 particular mark right here.
8 MR. ALARID:
9 Q. Okay. And that was one where you stated that you believed that
10 the trajectory had come from the ground?
11 A. Correct. I realise we're looking at this, you know, two
12 dimensional, but the point of -- or the trajectory would be coming in
13 this direction, ground floor in this area, centre of the room
15 Q. Now, obviously where you've just marked up this picture, we can't
16 see the centre of the room, so you're not saying --
17 A. No, the picture is not showing where the point of initiation of
18 that possible fragment. The point of initiation would have been
19 somewhere in the centre of the room. This is where that fragment,
20 possible fragment, ended its trajectory in the wall there.
21 MR. ALARID: We would tender this as an exhibit, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D140, Your Honours.
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. Now, I'd like to move to the right side.
1 MR. ALARID: And please bring up Y020-394, please -- 3394,
2 please. I'm sorry.
3 Q. Now, what do we see here?
4 A. This is a picture of as you're walking into the room the wall on
5 the right side of the room.
6 Q. And in terms of -- you had testified a little earlier of the
7 deteriorated state of the right side wall. Does this accurately show
9 A. Yes. Unfortunately, the only thing you're not seeing is down at
10 the bottom this picture, which is not in it, all the sediment from this
11 wall as it deteriorates is collecting at the base of this wall itself.
12 Q. And what other relevances is about this picture? And what is
13 that in sort of the upper left-hand corner?
14 A. The -- in this area here, this area here is a piece of tile in
15 the wall itself, and the fragment -- the only fragmentation piece or
16 piece of metal that is not organic to the structure itself was found in
17 this area right here.
18 Q. Okay. And specifically how was it found, and tell us about what
19 you did.
20 A. I noticed an impact mark in the wall here just to the right of
21 the tile. In excavating the impact mark, there's actually a piece of the
22 tile now missing, and it's on the floor. It broke off right in this
23 area. But in following the trajectory and basically the whole of that
24 impact mark, I found a fragmentation piece or a piece of metal embedded
25 in the wall here.
1 Q. Did you bring that piece of metal with you today?
2 A. I did.
3 Q. Could you please produce it to the court assistant, please.
4 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, we would tender this photograph
5 into evidence.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D141, Your Honours.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm assuming that whatever was
9 recovered is wrapped up in a piece of paper. Could I ask that it be
10 taken out so that we can examine the piece. I would rather not do it.
11 If Mr. O'Donnell wouldn't mind taking it out, and maybe we can look at it
12 through the plastic bag.
13 MR. ALARID: We could even put it on the ELMO as well,
14 Your Honour.
15 MR. GROOME: I would like to get a close-up look at it.
16 MR. ALARID: Of course.
17 And maybe put the piece on the ELMO after Your Honours have had a
18 chance to look at it.
19 Q. Now, Mr. O'Donnell --
20 MR. ALARID: And does the ELMO have the ability to zoom at all?
21 Q. Now, thinking about how you chose to conduct this post-blast
22 exploitation, you said you went to the back wall and decided to move
23 clock-wise; is that correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. So moving along at that back wall to where it intersects with the
1 right wall and of course the photograph that we just saw last on the
2 monitor, tell us what was going on in your mind as you find this?
3 A. When I first entered the room and approached the back wall, I
4 traced out the impact marks that we've seen on the previous photos. In
5 doing so the plaster was removed from the wall, but I was unable to
6 locate any types of foreign matter at the back end of the possible impact
7 marks. That was not the case here. For whatever reason I followed this
8 impact mark into the wall, and I was able to recover this -- this piece
9 of metal. And the reason it looks the state it is today is because of
10 oxidation of the metal itself.
11 Q. Now, specifically in terms of --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. ALARID:
14 Q. Specifically in terms of revealing or reviewing the types of
15 ordnance available to the people in the Yugoslavian theatre, what -- what
16 did they have available to them?
17 A. They had several different types of grenades. I brought a manual
18 here with rough pictures of these types of ordnance items. Many of them
19 are actual regular ordnance items and some of them are actually
21 Q. And in terms of improvised, what do you mean?
22 A. The -- they utilised the body of the ordnance item that has the
23 explosives in it, but they initiate it by some other means other than the
24 normal fusing that's made or constructed for that piece of ordnance.
25 Q. So can a grenade be rigged to explode using a time fuse?
1 A. Yes, it can.
2 Q. How is that?
3 A. Actually there's pictures in here of ordnance items that were
4 found organic to the former Yugoslavia
5 going into the fuse well or actual time fuse going into the fuse well.
6 Q. And, Mr. Groome --
7 MR. GROOME: Yes. Your Honour, I would just ask that whatever
8 book the witness is looking at, could we just have the title of it and
9 some information about it.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Please give us the details.
11 THE WITNESS: This handbook of ammunition used in former
13 engineering centre at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey.
14 MR. ALARID: Absolutely. We'll put that on --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the year?
16 THE WITNESS: The date of it is January 2000, and it was prepared
17 for EOD and also other soldiers that -- and military members that were
18 basically having tours over here to help out with the Coalition Forces
19 during the Kosovo Bosnia campaign.
20 MR. ALARID:
21 Q. And specifically can you show to the Court on the ELMO some of
22 the improvised grenades and turn to those page, please.
23 A. Absolutely. Here's a picture of two grenades from this area.
24 The -- as you can see, these are regular ordnance items. The fusing
25 which has the pull ring is actually in the device, so these would
1 function as designed. You pull the ring, throw the grenade. The spoon,
2 which is on this side of the grenades here and here would come off. It's
3 spring-loaded. It comes off releasing the cock striker which would hit
4 the detonator. We have a 3 to 5 seconds burn time, and then the blasting
5 cap goes off inside the grenade exploding -- or igniting the main charge,
6 detonating the grenade itself.
7 Q. Would this be commonly known as the black grenade? Have you ever
8 heard that term?
9 A. No. No, I have not.
10 Q. Okay. Now -- but tell me this: Is the fragment or potential
11 fragment, rather, that you found in the wall consistent with coming
12 possibly from a grenade? And if not tell the Court why.
13 A. I can conclusively say that I cannot prove that it is from an
14 ordnance item or from some other type of material, that it could have
15 been there during the making of the foundation of the -- of the house
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. So I can -- I can -- I cannot say that it comes directly from an
19 ordnance item.
20 Q. And other than the wall being in a deteriorated state, would you
21 have had a better opportunity had you been there much sooner in time?
22 A. Yes, due to the fact that the question's been brought up about an
23 improvised device or even just a regular device, the sooner you're on
24 site and able to provide exploitation of a site, time works against you
25 in that manner and answers are -- trickle away as time goes on. So
1 therefore, the time between when the incident happened and when I showed
2 up to do exploitation of the site 15 years later does not allow me to
3 conclusively give any answers.
4 Q. Now just looking at the photographs on the -- or the drawings on
5 the ELMO, tell us about what it means to improvised grenade -- or hand
7 A. These are -- we'll use side, this one to the left. This grenade
8 is actually -- this is a regular military body which is manufactured by
9 some country, and then this is an improvised fusing. This simulating
10 time fuse right here. This is normally a body for a grenade or a
11 booby-trap, and this device is an improvised ignitiation device.
12 Q. Slide the book up, yes.
13 A. If we look down at these, you can see what that we're trying to
14 depict here is time fuse coming out of a grenade body or booby-trap
15 land-mine body which is used in a grenade form, and it's improvised
16 because it's initiated via time fuse instead of the actual pull --
17 pull-pin and spoon method that I was talking about earlier off the other
19 Q. Now, why would a grenade get modified from what seems to be a
20 more technically advanced model such as that spoon and pin versus a
21 regular old time fuse?
22 A. Most of the time when items are improvised, it's because they're
23 found on the battlefield. They're utilised. You find the grenade
24 bodies, but you don't necessarily find the fuses. So you have to find
25 some way of -- or concoct some way of initiating the device so that way
1 you can use it in a defensive or offensive mode rather than just not
2 having it at all.
3 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, with the -- with the Court's
4 indulgence, could we copy this particular page and enter it into
5 evidence, please.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 MR. ALARID: And we would also tender the fragment that
8 Mr. O'Donnell identified on the ELMO into the evidence.
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I ask -- ask that also the title
10 page of the book also be copied and be made part of the same exhibit so
11 we can retrace our steps here.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes, that will be done.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D142, Your Honours.
14 MR. ALARID:
15 Q. Now, understanding that you can't conclusively say that this was
16 a fragment versus something that had actually been part of the pouring of
17 the foundation, but why did you even touch it as a potential fragment?
18 A. I removed it from the wall based on the sole evidence of --
19 basically it lined out that I found at the end of an impact mark. When I
20 say the end, I dug out the impact mark, and there -- that piece of metal
21 was there. So I guess you could say that I concluded that the impact
22 mark was created by that fragment.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. ALARID: With the court's assistance could we have Y020-3557.
25 And did we -- I believe we tendered this picture that's on the screen now
1 into evidence and it was accepted? 3394, yes? Okay. Sorry.
2 Q. And this is a broader picture of the room. Describe what you see
4 A. This particular picture is a picture of the back wall directly
5 across from the door, and off to the right is the right wall of the room
6 itself. And you can see the sediment down on the floor there that has
7 basically come off of the wall as it's been deteriorating over the last
8 15 years or more.
9 Q. And just looking at the tile in the upper portion of the
10 photograph, is that where you located the fragment? And is that the tile
11 before it broke?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please circle that for the Court.
14 A. Absolutely. This is the tile here.
15 Q. And although it's at a distance, could you also -- and let's use
16 the blue pen, please, as opposed to the red pen, and circle any other
17 potential fragmentation or impact marks that are visible based on your
18 observations in the room.
19 A. This is -- right in this area here is the impact mark where I
20 found the actual fragment. And then on the back wall, you can see more
21 impact marks here, here, and there.
22 Q. And just from one thing certain, would it be as to a certainty
23 that the piece of metal that you pulled out of the wall is not a -- a
24 shell from a firearm? I.e., like, you know, an AK-47 round.
25 A. The way the impact mark was going in was from the floor here up
1 in this general correction. That was the impact mark on the wall. Now,
2 if it was an AK-47 round, somebody would have been laying on the floor
3 and shot into the wall that way.
4 Q. When -- and besides that also, is there a difference in
5 composition between a -- a rifle shell -- or, excuse me, not the shell
6 but the actual bullet versus the casing to a grenade? Are they different
8 A. Yes, the -- your bullets are going to be a more of a malleable
9 type of a metal that deforms upon impact. Your fragmentation is going to
10 be jagged, rough types of very thick metal that would, in a grenade
11 instance anyway, that would basically stay the same shape when they
13 Q. Thank you. Okay. And --
14 MR. ALARID: Could we have -- and could we tender this into
15 evidence, please, before we move on.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 MR. ALARID: And just looking up at the wall --
18 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise to the Counsel. The marked
19 photograph will become Exhibit 1D145, and previously the fragment placed
20 on ELMO is Exhibit 1D143, and the second photograph is 1D144.
21 MR. ALARID:
22 Q. And just looking at the ceiling and the wall on the right, is
23 this the deterioration that you noted earlier?
24 A. Yes, it is. As you can see in the ceiling, the rebar is exposed.
25 Basically the ceiling's falling in on itself.
1 Q. And the wall, what is that on the ground at the base of the wall
2 on the right?
3 A. Are you -- okay. You're talking about the base.
4 Q. Yeah, below the fragment to the right of the blue arrow.
5 A. That's all the sediment from the wall as it collapses inward as
6 it deteriorates over the years.
7 Q. And just looking at the flooring, it look dark. It looks like it
8 could be burnt wood. Is it?
9 A. We did not -- myself or -- neither myself nor the arson
10 investigators going in experienced any transfer of carbon from any of the
11 materials on the floor. That would, although it appears very dark in the
12 picture, is actually wet. It crumbled in our hands due to decay. And if
13 you look in the very back corner of the floor underneath the circles -
14 I'll use red on it - this area here -- there's, actually, the wood's dry
15 in that area. That's why the difference in colour.
16 Q. Okay. So as is where the -- the wood is dark in the foreground.
17 Has that been subjected to fire, based on your personal up-close
19 A. Based on my observation, no.
20 MR. ALARID: And we would tender this into evidence and move on
21 to Y020-33 --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D145, Your Honours -- 46, I apologise.
24 MR. ALARID:
25 Q. 3357 -- or, excuse me, 59.
1 And what do you -- actually, that's not the picture I was going
2 to give you, I'm sorry. Let's do Y020-3393.
3 And what does this ...
4 A. This is a photograph of the right wall. Again, you can see the
5 sediment at the bottom of the picture where the wall meets the floor.
6 And in this particular picture, the tan material down there or the brown
7 material down at the bottom is the piece of tile that broke off when I
8 was removing the fragment out of the wall.
9 Q. Will you circle that, and we can tender it into evidence and move
11 A. Inside that circle is the piece of tile.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D147, Your Honours.
13 MR. ALARID: And let's have now Y020-3592.
14 Q. Now, I kind of jumped around the room here. Tell us what we see
16 A. This is a picture of the left wall between the only two windows
17 in the building, or I should say in this -- in this room. The window to
18 the right that has the tiles stacked up in it is the window furthest away
19 from the door.
20 Q. And what about -- what do you see in the middle of the
22 A. On the wall itself you'll notice that there are impact marks in
23 this area here.
24 Q. And what significance is it that the impact marks are in a
25 semicircle around the room? What does that say?
1 A. If, hypothetically, if a detonation had occurred from a device,
2 the device was in the centre of the room on the floor.
3 Q. Now, what relevance is it that -- in terms of number of people?
4 I mean, the allegations are 60-plus people were crowded into this 20 by
5 20 room. What significance is the frag patterns as well as the
6 allegations in relation to number of people in the room?
7 A. The impact mark patterns in the room indicate that there was
8 actually less mass, and when I say mass I'm referring to the amount of
9 bodies, in the room that would have created a buffer between the actual
10 device detonating and stopped the fragmentation or potential
11 fragmentation impacting the wall and making the marks that are currently
12 on the walls now.
13 Q. When -- and in layman's terms, would it be fair to say that
14 where -- fragmentation, where it hits a body, shouldn't hit the wall?
15 A. Yes. It's -- it's fair to say that.
16 Q. Okay. And -- and conversely, the people in the room would
17 obviously absorb some of the fragmentation from the device.
18 A. Individuals closest to it would absorb fragmentation. They would
19 basically become that obstruction between the flight pattern of the
20 fragmentation from its source to the impact marks. And the more bodies
21 and more mass you have in the room, the less effect the blast
22 overpressure is going to have because of the buffer, the mass absorbing
23 of that blast overpressure.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you.
25 MR. ALARID: Could we tender this into evidence, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D148, Your Honours.
3 MR. ALARID: And could we have Y020-3579.
4 Q. And just looking at this, do you see any other evidence of impact
5 or fragmentation marks in this particular portion of the wall?
6 A. Yes, there are impact marks prevalent in this picture.
7 Q. Could you please circle them.
8 MR. ALARID: And we would tender this into evidence, Your Honour,
9 following the marking.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 A. [Marks]
12 MR. ALARID:
13 Q. And could we have Y020-3560.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit 1D148, Your Honours.
15 MR. ALARID:
16 Q. Now let's me ask you this while we're moving the picture:
17 Is it possible that a small explosive device such as a grenade
18 can catch something or someone on fire that is in the immediate proximity
19 to the explosion even for a brief period of time?
20 A. An individual could possibly receive what we refer to as flash
21 burns, but I -- I would say, no, that they don't -- they would not catch
22 fire. They would receive flash burns from the transfer of heat from that
23 chemical breakdown of the explosion or the explosives, but they would not
24 catch fire unless it's an incendiary type of device.
25 Q. And this is 3650, and I wanted 3560. I apologise. And looking
1 at this, can you orientate yourself to the photograph. And I'm sorry to
2 jump you around the room. I've gotten out of order on this.
3 What is this?
4 A. This picture is a photograph of the right wall and then also the
5 wall that the door is in off to the right side.
6 Q. So you would be standing just inside the doorway looking to your
7 immediate right?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And are there any evidence of impact marks on this wall as far as
10 you could surmise even given the deteriorated nature of the wall?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you please identify those.
13 A. [Marks]
14 MR. ALARID: All right could we tender this into evidence and
15 move on.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D149.
18 MR. ALARID: And could we have Y020-3637.
19 Q. And where is this?
20 A. This photograph is of the door frame. As you enter the room, as
21 you're walking into the room, the door opens inward and folds to your
22 left. So this is right behind the door on the left part of the wall.
23 Q. And just for edification, did you see any evidence of fire damage
24 to the wood structuring of the interior of the room such as the door and
25 door frame?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. And can you identify a potential fragmentation impact behind the
4 A. Yes, I do believe I can.
5 Q. And please mark that.
6 MR. ALARID: And I would tender it into evidence.
7 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D150, Your Honours.
10 MR. ALARID: And could we have Y020 -- and I believe it would be
11 the next one in the series, 3638.
12 Q. And just to show what we're seeing.
13 A. It's a photograph of the same wall behind the door, just the
14 lower half of the door.
15 Q. Now, do you see any impact marks, or is there any evidence of
17 A. Neither.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. ALARID: And could we have last photograph Y020-3398. And
20 could we tender this into evidence, Your Honour, before it's gone.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 Mr. Alarid, I'm trying to get a sense of the time the witness
23 will take up. How much longer will you be?
24 MR. ALARID: That was the -- I have maybe one more photograph on
25 my list, and I would tender the report and pass the witness.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: And, Mr. Groome, how long will you be in
3 MR. GROOME: It's hard to say, Your Honour, but I can safely say
4 I will be well under the time Mr. Alarid used.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Thanks.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Admitted as Exhibit 1D151, Your Honours.
7 MR. ALARID: And I believe Y020-3398.
8 Q. And just looking at this wall, what -- what do you see?
9 A. This is a photograph of the, as you're entering the room, the
10 left wall. This is the window closest to the actual entranceway, and the
11 wall that you see to the right is between the two windows.
12 Q. And please identify impact or fragment marks.
13 MR. ALARID: And I would tender it into evidence.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D152, Your Honours.
16 MR. ALARID: And the last thing I would call up would be
18 Q. And in advance of it coming on the screen, Mr. O'Donnell, did you
19 prepare a report in conjunction with your trip, investigative trip, to
20 Pionirska Street
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did you prepare this report following the review of the
23 photographs the ones we've seen in court today?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And did you prepare this report after an on-site visit and
1 inspection of the site known as Pionirska Street?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. And as soon as we get it on the screen, I'm going to have you
4 identify the document. And is it true that the document, including a
5 photo annex, consists of approximately four pages?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And do you recognise the document on the screen?
8 A. I do. It's my post-blast exploitation report.
9 Q. And could we go to page 2, please. Is that your signature on
10 page 2?
11 A. It is.
12 MR. ALARID: And could we have pages 3 and 4 in succession,
13 please. Not paragraphs 3 and 4, page 3 and 4. Sorry.
14 Q. And do these pictures represent part of your photo annex to your
16 A. They do.
17 MR. ALARID: Could we have page 4, please.
18 Q. And does this represent the final page and photo annex of your
20 A. It does.
21 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, at this time I would tender the report
22 of Stephen O'Donnell into evidence and pass the witness.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 1D153, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is necessary to have a break now. We'll
1 break for 20 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 4.59 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.22 p.m.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, before we resume I would kindly ask
5 your permission to make a correction on the transcript.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document Y020-3579 marked by the witness will
8 be become Exhibit 1D54, since it was admitted previously.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome.
10 MR. GROOME: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Groome:
12 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. O'Donnell. My name is Dermot Groome, and I
13 represent the Prosecution here. And I'm going to ask you a few questions
14 about your report and your observations at Pionirska Street.
15 A. Okay.
16 Q. Now, it seems from your testimony and your report, there's no
17 question in your mind that there was some type of explosion in the inside
18 of the room that you examined; correct?
19 A. Yes, I believe so.
20 Q. And would it be fair to say that you're -- you're not able to say
21 whether it was one explosion, possibly two explosions, possibly three
22 explosions? You're not able to say the number of explosion, are you?
23 A. Off the witness testimony or the witness accounts --
24 Q. Could I ask -- let's not go to the witness testimony yet. But
25 just in terms of your observations in the room itself, were you able to
1 make a determination how many different explosions occurred in that room?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, we've already heard you testify that you were there on the
4 29th of January. You conducted your on-site exploitation. The
5 transcript at page 48 records you as saying: "I traced out the impact
6 marks we've seen in the previous photos."
7 I didn't receive any drawings or tracings. Do you have them with
8 you here today in court?
9 A. No. It's more along the lines of looking at the trajectory from
10 the centre of the room to where they actually impacted the wall. There
11 were no drawings.
12 Q. So when you made determination of the trajectory, you didn't
13 record that in any way?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Would that be something you would ordinarily do in a post-blast
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Why it wasn't done here?
19 A. One, I didn't have the tools with me. And, two, is it's 15 years
20 after the fact.
21 Q. Would the trajectory mark change? You've talked about the
23 A. The elevation of the floor could have changed due to the amount
24 of debris in there.
25 Q. And what were the tools that you would have used other than a pad
1 of paper and a pen?
2 A. You could -- you could have used a laser pointer; you could have
3 used strings that you attach from the trajectory hole into the centre of
4 the room to try and face the point of detonation.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
6 question and answer for the purposes of interpretation. Thank you.
7 MR. GROOME: Yes. My apologies.
8 Q. So given these factors, it seems that your testimony that the
9 explosion occurred in the centre of the room is really an approximation
10 because of time, of uncertainty about the level of the floor and things
11 like that.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, you've told us the size of the room. Give us an idea of how
14 big an approximation are we talking about. If you were to take us back
15 to that scene and you were to draw a circle of the area where the device
16 could have gone off to cause those marks, how big would that circle be?
17 A. It's going to -- that -- the -- the factors that are not in
18 your -- your question are the amount of people actually in the room and
19 where are they at. So that would throw off any possibility of where I
20 could say the detonation possibly happened. If we actually put 60 people
21 into that room, then we could possibly depict where the detonation, if
22 there was one, possibly happened, yes.
23 Q. Well, are you saying now that you're -- you're not able to say
24 where the detonation occurred or you are able to say?
25 A. Not to narrow it down to the exact spot, no.
1 Q. Okay. Now, I understand that.
2 Can you tell us what is the area that you can narrow it down to?
3 How big is the circle that you would draw in that room that you could
4 confidently say to us, I'm not sure exactly where it exploded, but I know
5 it happened somewhere in that circle?
6 A. I would say roughly a seven-foot in diametre circle I could draw.
7 Q. It's a 20 foot by 20 foot room I think you said, correct?
8 A. That's my estimate, yes.
9 Q. And the diameter of the circle would be approximately a third of
10 the length of the room?
11 A. Yes, centre of the room.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you.
13 Now, on page 1, paragraph 4 of your report you say:
14 "To provide the best analysis, sites need to be processed as
15 soon as possible. That failed to happen in this case. After 15 years
16 the site will be vacant of any explosive residue that could have affirmed
17 the presence of an explosive device."
18 Now, in your opinion how long is the time period after which it
19 would be pointless to conduct the examination for residue? Is it a year?
20 Is it two years?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. In your training was that ever discussed about how long that
23 might be?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Now, are you saying -- and it seems that you're testifying that
1 the impact marks give you a level of certainty that something exploded in
2 that room; correct?
3 A. Those along with other facts, yes.
4 Q. So to go and find residue in that room would simply corroborate
5 your -- your conclusion that you drew from the impact marks; correct?
6 A. You have outside factors that have contaminated the site. On the
7 day that we were there, the 29th of January, we found human excrement in
8 the room. Any type of -- the weather, the humidity, the water is going
9 to remove residue --
10 Q. Okay --
11 A. -- from the room.
12 Q. But my question to you is: If you -- let's say -- did you test
13 for residue?
14 A. No.
15 Q. If you had to tested for residue and you found that there was
16 none there, would it have changed your conclusion based on your
17 observations of the impact marks with respect to -- that an explosion
18 occurred in that room?
19 A. No. It wouldn't.
20 Q. So the presence of residue is really an additional factor but
21 it's not an essential factor for you to reach the conclusion that there
22 was an explosion in that room?
23 A. Not after 15 years, no.
24 Q. Okay. Well, I think the 15 years aspect of it means -- I think
25 what you're saying there, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that after
1 15 years it's unlikely at that there would have been residue recovered in
2 the room.
3 A. That's -- that's what my synopsis says, yes.
4 Q. Okay. And the decay that you have you've talked about, you've
5 talked about several kinds, structural decay, moisture. You've talked
6 about this excrement, trash, and just the function of time. Have I left
7 any of the factors out that you believe would have made it more difficult
8 to collect residue of explosives?
9 A. I can -- I cannot honestly -- I cannot go on record saying what
10 transpired in that room over the last 15 years. There could be other
11 things that are admitted at this time, but, yes.
12 Q. But of the factors that I mentioned, those are the ones that you
13 islanded as factors that would have made it improbable that you would
14 have found residue if you tested for it?
15 A. I'm not saying it's conclusive that you would have found residue
16 shortly after the incident. I'm not saying that either. I'm saying that
17 that's one -- one type of product that you're going to look for when you
18 have a detonation in a room or a detonation anywhere, you're going to
19 look for residue.
20 Q. Can you explain why it might be that we -- we could have gone to
21 the scene shortly afterwards and still not find residue? Can you explain
22 that to us?
23 A. Again outside factors: Weather, the amount of moisture in the
24 air, the humidity, foreign matter being brought into -- into the room
25 itself. All that contaminates a -- a site for exploitation. All those
1 factors can destroy the evidence that you're looking for.
2 Q. So can I take from that that in a relatively short period of time
3 after this explosion occurred, it might have been that the -- there would
4 have been no residue that could have been found? Is that your evidence?
5 A. That's not my conclusion. That's your conclusion, but --
6 Q. Well, I'm asking, do you agree with that conclusion? It sounds
7 like --
8 A. It's a probability, yes.
9 Q. It's a probability.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you give us an idea of -- I guess what I'm trying to get at
12 is at what period of time after this explosion occurred would you as an
13 expert believe that the residue is -- has less than a 50 percent
14 probability of being recovered?
15 A. It's going to depend on what type of explosives were used to
16 begin with as well because the explosives are degrading as they sit
17 inside of an ordnance item. You can have an ordnance item that's
18 50 years old that has -- in perfect state that has not been subjected to
19 the elements and the -- it has less deterioration in the explosive than
20 one that has been subjected to the weather or the elements. Based off
21 the chemical breakdown of the explosion, when the explosion occurs. What
22 type of explosives out there it depends -- or what was used depends on
23 whether you're going to find residue or not and how long the residue will
25 Q. Well, let's see if we can get a little bit more specific. You
1 placed a book of -- of ordnance from the former Yugoslavia on the ELMO
2 and you opened up to particular pages and they were hand grenades and you
3 pointed to them. Let's -- let me put it to you with respect to the items
4 that you pointed to, the hand grenades that you pointed to. Are you able
5 to give us a range of when the residue from those would -- would have
7 A. No, I'm not a chemist. I would not be able to do that, no. I
8 can go into a site. I can run tests or pull powder or run swabs for
9 residue, but I would have to send it off-site to somebody to actually do
10 the chemical analysis. That's not -- that's not the function of my
12 Q. Let me -- well, let me put the question to you a different way.
13 Let's say you were still in the army and your superior officer said,
14 "Specialist O'Donnell, we have a site where there is an explosion. It
15 happened three months ago. I want to decide whether it's worth sending a
16 team in, to send you in, to do a full exploitation of that site for
17 residue," what would your answer be?
18 A. In we were in combat operations, I would say no.
19 Q. Why would you say no in combat operations?
20 A. What pertinent information are you trying to receive out of that?
21 And is it worth risking the lives of men going out to that site to
22 perform this type of an exploitation possibly under gun-fire or explosive
23 ambush? You have to weigh the factors, especially in combat.
24 Q. Okay. So -- so what you're saying now is that before you can
25 actually even do your work as a post-blast exploitation expert there has
1 to be a certain level of security, i.e., there can't be combat in the
2 area to do that?
3 A. Performing my duties on an EOD team, an explosive ordnance
4 disposal team, as a team and then also a team leader, we were attached
5 security details to provide us escort from point A to point B. And if a
6 commanding officer wanted it done, we would do it to the best of our
7 acts, but again you have to weigh the factors. And is it worth
8 sending -- take Afghanistan
9 asset in the size of a New Jersey AO, area of operation. So do you want
10 us to spend four hours out there going out three months after the fact
11 looking for residue when we've got two units that are in a holding
12 pattern providing security around two improvised explosive devices or
13 suspect packages which is stopping their missions from continuing.
14 Q. So it seems that what you're saying is that it's a reasonable
15 decision for a commander or a superior to take that it's just simply too
16 dangerous to send a post-blast exploitation team into an area at this
17 time; is that correct?
18 A. What we did our --
19 Q. Sir, we'll get through this much quicker if you can answer my
20 question. If I ask you a question, you begin to tell another anecdote.
21 I'm just asking you --
22 A. [Overlapping speakers] ... I'm trying to get to it, I apologise.
23 Q. What I'm asking you, is it a reasonable decision for a superior
24 or a commander to say to someone like you, Look, it's simply too
25 dangerous at this moment to go do post-blast exploitation of a particular
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Now, returning now to the function of time, at what point do you
4 say to your commander, look, it's improbable that we'll find anything
5 there. Too much time has passed"?
6 MR. ALARID: And I would just ask for a clarification with regard
7 to "find anything there." Are we talking about residue here or other
9 MR. GROOME:
10 Q. Residue.
11 A. We not strictly go out to an incident site to perform a
12 post-blast investigation strictly just looking for residue.
13 Q. Okay. Well then --
14 A. And to answer your question, based off of time, if combat -- the
15 area that we -- the detonation went off, say, yesterday, if the area's
16 hot, they are not going to send us. They're not going to send us.
17 Q. How about a year after, now the area's no longer hot, would you
18 say to your commander, Look, I'm not sure the value of doing it at this
19 stage, just too much time has passed?
20 A. Yes, I would.
21 Q. And what I'm trying to get from you is what's the period of time
22 where you give that answer to your commander?
23 A. It depends on the target that was -- that was, you know -- what
24 was the target? Was the target a State department official that was hit
25 in a convoy or was this a foot patrol with soldiers? And if we're really
1 looking for the evidence of the device and the residue and it's a higher
2 priority and it was a State department official and not just a soldier,
3 then I would say, yes, we'll do it. If it was a soldier, that's just
4 normal combat. And if I'm not on scene within hour or two hours or three
5 hours, if I'm not on scene the same day it happened or within 24 hours, I
6 don't see the relevance of doing a post-blast investigation. We're in a
7 combat zone.
8 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like to talk to you about the observations that
9 you made on the 29th of January. On page 2, paragraph 1 of your report
10 -- do you have your report in front of you that you can refer to it?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Now, you state that you examined the walls of the room and
13 observed the following:
14 "The intact walls of the basement, back, left, and front, had
15 sustained numerous impact marks consistent with damage produced by frag."
16 Now, when you say "frag" that's the type of fragmentation that
17 you've been talking about in your direct testimony?
18 A. Frag is a general term for any type of foreign matter that could
19 cause any type of damage.
20 Q. So it would be any type of foreign matter that is propelled by
21 the explosion; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, how many impact marks altogether did you find in the room?
24 A. We didn't get a exact count.
25 Q. Can you approximate for us?
1 A. I'd say roughly 30.
2 Q. And can you tell us the distribution on the different walls you
4 A. No, there was no symmetrical pattern to the impact marks.
5 Q. Well, you say there were 30. Was it approximately eight on each
6 wall? Was it 20 on one?
7 A. Due to the degradation of the walls and the amount of decay, the
8 wall -- the wall with the windows in it, obviously there's surface area,
9 so I found less impact marks on that one. Wall to the back of the room
10 actually had more plaster that was still a part of the wall itself still
11 attached to the wall, so it was easy to find the impact marks, so I found
12 more impact marks back -- on the back wall.
13 Q. Okay. Now, when you say in your report: "Consistent with damage
14 produced by frag," do you mean that this damage is consistent with a
15 fragmentation grenade being thrown into the room?
16 A. No, because it could have been any type of a device. It could
17 have been an actual grenade. It could have been an improvised explosive
19 Q. So it could have been a grenade, it could have been some type of
20 improvised explosive device. Anything else that it could have been or --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
22 question and answer.
23 MR. GROOME: I apologise again.
24 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
25 Had a detonation occurred and depending on the amount of people,
1 I refer back to my comment earlier about mass in the room, the amount of
2 bodies in there, it's likely that any of those -- it could have been
3 primary frag which actually comes from the device; it could have been
4 secondary frag which comes from the surroundings.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. But you've so far listed the possible sources as grenade and
7 improvised explosive device; correct?
8 A. Yes, when we're talking about the device, yes.
9 Q. So you've excluded any type of rigged artillery shell?
10 A. No, that would be an improvised explosive device.
11 Q. Oh, okay.
12 A. So you just said rigged artillery shell. It's not there to
13 function as designed. The initiation system is not there to function as
14 designed. You rig it up, you're going to detonate it on your own, it's
15 not going to travel down the length of a barrel and shot into the room,
16 so, therefore, it's an improvised explosive device.
17 Q. Let's focus on the fragmentation grenade for a minute. A
18 fragmentation grenade is designed upon detonation to break up into
19 hundreds of small fragments, each being propelled at great velocity away
20 from the explosion with the aim of injuring personnel in the immediate
21 vicinity of the detonated grenade, correct?
22 A. Where did you get that information?
23 Q. That's a question that I formulated.
24 A. A grenade is either an offensive or defensive device that is
25 meant to produce a certain amount of frag in a 360 degree area to produce
2 Q. Okay. So it's specifically engineered to break up into small
3 fragments and then propel away from the site of the explosion injuring
4 personnel; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now the marks that you observed on the wall were consistent with
7 the fragmentation grenade being detonated in that room and the grenade
8 impacting the walls and thereby leaving a mark. We're just focusing on
9 grenades for the moment.
10 A. Okay.
11 Q. So the marks you saw would be consistent with the fragmentation
12 grenade being detonated in that room, correct?
13 A. With it being surrounded by bodies. The I impact marks that I
14 found, the majority of them, and I would say 80 percent of them that I
15 found, were at the shoulder level. And my unity of measure of that is
16 myself I'm 6'2". My shoulder level and above is where I found the impact
18 Q. So let me see if I can break out your reasoning in that. Your
19 reasoning is that the -- although the fragments would have been dispersed
20 outward in every direction from the explosion, the ones that were
21 travelling at trajectories below shoulder height quite possibly embedded
22 themselves in the bodies of the people there?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the ones that you saw actually make it to the wall and leave
25 marks were ones that passed above their shoulders or over their heads
2 A. Or between them, yes.
3 Q. Or possibly between them.
4 A. Yes, what I'm getting at is that the individuals provided
5 obstruction from the source of the detonation to where the fragments
6 would have embedded themselves in the wall.
7 Q. Now, it's possible for those fragments to have enough velocity to
8 actually pass through the soft tissues of a person. Is that not correct?
9 A. When you -- I disagree with that statement only from the simple
10 fact that fragments hit bone and they change direction.
11 Q. Okay. I'm not talking about the bony tissue yet. But if a
12 grenade were to go off and just hit the flesh of the arm, hit the muscle
13 tissue, not impact bone at all, would it pass through the soft tissues of
14 the body?
15 A. Fragment -- if you have -- if you had bodies standing around
16 the -- if the device detonated in the centre of the room, you have bodies
17 standing all around it, there is going to be fragmentation found in those
18 bodies. And the ones that are closest to it depending on the amount of
19 explosive used, it's possible that the fragmentation passed through them
20 only to be embedded in someone else behind them.
21 Q. But it would be theoretically possible for a piece of fragment to
22 just simply never impact on anyone's bony structure and simply pass
23 through the soft tissues of one or two people and embed itself in the
24 wall behind them?
25 A. I -- I don't find it possible in this scenario because you have
1 the size of the room and estimated 60 people in the room. That's a lot
2 of mass and a lot of nonbony material for a piece of fragment to travel
3 through and then impact itself in the wall.
4 Q. But you've said earlier now that the possible place where it
5 landed could be a circle seven feet wide.
6 A. True.
7 Q. Which I take it mean that it could have landed closer to the wall
8 than you're assuming in your answer now, and perhaps it landed in front
9 of only one or maybe two persons deep?
10 A. No, I don't believe my answer's changed. It depends on the how
11 many people in the room. There is no exact number. Anywhere between 30
12 to 60 people were said to be in that room. And if you have 30 people in
13 that room that's a lot less mass than 60 people in that room. And I'm --
14 Q. But what I'm getting at is the actual location where the grenade
15 were to land. Let's say it was to land at that outer perimeter of your
16 seven-foot circle. It seems it would be closer to the wall and there
17 would be less people between where the grenade exploded and the wall
18 behind the people. Is that not correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. So would you accept that it would be possible for the fragment to
21 pass through perhaps less people, if it had landed in the middle of the
22 room, pass through their soft tissue and made impact mark on the back of
23 the wall?
24 A. That is -- it's an accurate statement. The walls themselves are
25 so degraded that you wouldn't find -- or I didn't find any impact marks
1 below the waist level.
2 Q. But you did find some between the shoulder level and the waist
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Out of the approximate 30 can you give us some estimate about how
6 many were in that region?
7 A. About five, five or six.
8 Q. So clearly that -- the fact that more of the impact marks were
9 above shoulder level would indicate to you that there was a possibility
10 that the room was crowned when the explosive device was detonated,
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, you found the fragment in a wall of the house. I'm not sure
14 what your evidence is on this point. Do you believe it to be a piece of
15 a fragment grenade or do you not believe it to be a piece?
16 A. It's a foreign piece of material that I found at the end of an
17 impact mark in the wall. I'm not saying what it is. It's so
18 deteriorated and decayed there's no positively -- I can't positively
19 identify it.
20 Q. Now, I looked at it. Would you agree with me that it's neither
21 lead, nor is it made of copper?
22 A. Again, I'm not -- I'm not a chemist, but I would say that it is
23 some type of a ferrous metal because it is oxidised so dramatically.
24 Q. It has rust on it?
25 A. Yes. That's what I mean by oxidation.
1 Q. Now, bullets ordinarily would be made of lead, or in some cases
2 that lead would be in a copper jacket, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. There are no bullets that you're aware of that fire steel or
5 ferrous bullets, are there?
6 A. Not that I'm aware of.
7 Q. The outside of a grenade, what material is that ordinarily made
9 A. It's a ferrous metal of either steel or tin.
10 Q. Now, just a few questions about the mission. It seems from what
11 you've testified to and from my reading all of the reports of the defence
12 experts, that you all went to the scene at the same time; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you had discussions among yourselves about your observations
16 at the scene; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And did you have discussions about what you observed at the scene
19 after you left the scene?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And how long were you at the scene?
22 A. We were at Pionirska I'd say for about an hour, an hour and a
23 half. Maybe more than that. I had to wait for the arson investigators
24 to finish their investigation before I went in.
25 Q. And can you just tell me the names of the people that you were --
1 who were present at the scene at the time that you were present?
2 A. Defence counsel, myself, Cliff Jenkins, Mr. Cliff Jenkins, and
3 Martin McCoy, and Benjamin Dimas.
4 Q. Now, I don't see anything in your report about doing any
5 post-blast exploitation at the other fire site, the Bikavac site. Is
6 that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Did you visit that site?
9 A. I was on scene when they did their investigation.
10 Q. Why did you not do post-blast exploitation at that site?
11 A. Due to witness testimony there was never any question of whether
12 or not there was any explosion there.
13 Q. You weren't shown the evidence of one witness about a Molotov
14 cocktail being thrown into the room?
15 A. That's an incendiary device, and there is no -- again when you
16 throw a Molotov cocktail the liquid inside the glass jar or whatever is
17 ignited by the flaming rag, the fabric that's on fire.
18 Q. Would that be beyond your expertise to deal with an incendiary
20 A. That's an arson device, not, in my opinion, an explosive ordnance
21 disposal post-blast type of situation.
22 Q. So the reason you didn't do anything at Bikavac is because the
23 witness statements that you -- that you read were speaking about an
24 incendiary device not an explosive device.
25 A. If it was an incendiary device that was set off by an explosion
1 then I would have possibly, had the Defence requested it, I would have
2 done a post-blast, but that's not the case.
3 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, I would object to this line of
4 testimony, simply because the truth is he wasn't asked to review Bikavac.
5 But otherwise, because we're all in the same car, he's got to go to it.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. Well, then let me ask you this: Had you been asked, would it
8 have been possible in your view, in your observations of the scene at
9 Bikavac, to have done a post-blast exploitation of that scene?
10 A. No, because there's no structure left, just pictures of -- what
11 we have are just photographic evidence of just the foundation, the
12 concrete floor on the ground level. There's nothing else there.
13 Q. In fact there's not even any rubble there. It looks like the
14 house was knocked down and the rubble from the house carted away; is that
15 not correct?
16 A. All I saw was the foundation.
17 Q. So no rubble from the walls of the house or roof structure or
18 anything like that?
19 A. I didn't see any, No.
20 Q. Now, it seems that over a hundred -- I'm sorry, about 450
21 photographs were taken on this mission, and I would like to work with
22 about 50 of them for you -- with you. And given the amount of time it
23 takes to call these up, I asked Mr. Alarid to give you a book of the
24 photos that I would wish to use yesterday to give you an opportunity over
25 night to take a look at the book. Were you able to do that?
1 A. Yes. I reviewed the -- the material yesterday.
2 Q. Is it approximately 50 photographs in here. Are they all
3 photographs that you recognise from the -- the mission or the time that
4 you went to the scene on 29th of January?
5 A. I believe they were taken by myself or my colleagues.
6 Q. And are they all fair and accurate representations of the scene
7 as you observed it on that day?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Your Honour, I would call up this exhibit. It's MLDT-photo.
10 There's an electronic copy and I've also made hard copies, Your Honour.
11 I think we can just work more efficiently by just looking at the book.
12 So I'd ask -- both Defence have received copies already, so those are for
13 the Judges. Actually, could I ask that if there are copies for Defence,
14 the copies I gave to the Defence yesterday it seems Mr. Dieckmann doesn't
15 have his. And I believe the copy I gave Mr. Alarid did not have the
16 pages numbered yet. Are the pages --
17 MR. ALARID: The pages are not numbered.
18 MR. GROOME: So I would ask that Mr. Alarid be given a copy as
19 well so that he can follow along.
20 THE WITNESS: I'll need a copy of it myself.
21 MR. GROOME: Yes, I will do that as well.
22 If the usher could save a copy for the witness as well. Is there
23 one for the -- thank you.
24 So, Your Honour, with that foundation, I would tender this
25 MLDT-photo into evidence as a Prosecution exhibit.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P265, Your Honours.
3 MR. GROOME:
4 Q. Now, the first -- before we look at photos, you've mentioned
5 several times in your testimony blast overpressure.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can I ask you to explain exactly what is blast overpressure.
8 A. The blast overpressure is the shock wave that is formed from a
9 chemical breakdown when the explosion commences.
10 Q. So that if an explosion occurred in this courtroom, that
11 explosion, the shockwave might break the windows behind us, might damage
12 of the walls?
13 A. Yes, depending on the amount of explosives used, yes.
14 Q. Might even injure us?
15 A. If a detonation occurred in this room, yeah, we could lose our
16 hearing. And go from there with -- with more explosives, it's obviously
17 much greater damage done.
18 Q. Just -- I forgot to ask you one question about the fragmentation
19 grenade. You testified that it ordinarily doesn't start a fire; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But that someone could receive a flash burn?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, if the -- the carpet in this room were soaked with gasoline
25 and a grenade detonated on the floor, on the gasoline-soaked -- or some
1 kind of flammable fluid-soaked carpet, the grenade could possibly ignite
2 that, no?
3 A. Ignite the carpet or ignite the fuel or the vapours?
4 Q. Let's take them one at a time. Could it ignite the gasoline
5 vapours in the room?
6 A. It's possible.
7 Q. Could ignite the liquid gasoline that's -- or flammable liquid
8 that's still soaked into the carpet?
9 A. It's possible.
10 Q. And if people in the room were made to walk in there in their
11 stocking feet and their -- their socks or their clothing absorbed some of
12 the liquid, flammable liquid, could the grenade ignite their clothing?
13 A. That's improbable.
14 Q. Why?
15 A. The amount of distance between the actual device detonating and
16 the actual individuals, it's -- it's a what-if question.
17 Q. You're an expert. You're allowed to --
18 A. I understand that.
19 Q. You're the type of witness that can answer a what-if question.
20 A. I understand, but I don't have the resources to give you a
21 correct answer. If we did it ten times, it could work five times, it
22 could not work at all.
23 Q. But in any case, once the carpet is in flames, and the people,
24 their clothing is going to catch on fire shortly after that anyway?
25 MR. ALARID: Objection. Calls for speculation, facts not in
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I believe an expert is the one witness
3 who can --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let the witness answer if he can.
5 THE WITNESS: Can you repeat the question, please.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. You've already told us that if the carpet were soaked with some
8 flammable fluid, that a grenade could ignite that carpet. And my
9 question to you is accepting your last answer that you believe its
10 improbably that the grenade would directly light the clothing of the
11 people, that if it lights the carpeting, I mean, shortly thereafter if
12 their clothing is soaked in flammable liquid, it's going to ignite as
13 well, maybe not from the grenade but from the carpet; correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Okay. Now let's go back to the photographs. Could I ask you to
16 turn to page 5 on -- in your book. And I wanted to work with the
17 photograph on the top of the page first. And this is a picture of the
18 house that you did your examination of looking at the entrance to the
19 lower room, the ground-floor room in that house; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, what I'm interested in is directly above that room, what
22 would be the first floor of the house, there are clay bricks missing from
23 that wall; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it's somewhat a semi-circular shape; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, let's go down to the bottom page of this -- the same --
3 sorry, the bottom photograph on the same page. Now, we're looking at the
4 house with our back to the gully --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- and it's hard to see because of the overgrowth, but the two
7 windows of the house are in the ground floor of the house in front of us;
9 A. Yes, they're there.
10 Q. And the first floor above us with -- where the clay bricks are,
11 we see the same loss of bricks. And at least in the second cavity on the
12 right, we seem to have the same kind of semi-circular shape to the -- to
13 the missing bricks; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now can we turn to page 6, and this is the -- the wall of the
16 house that is directly opposite the one that we were looking at, so this
17 is the side of the house that's facing Pionirska Street; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And once again, we see the clay bricks missing from the wall in a
20 semi-circular shape of -- similar to the other two sides that we've
21 already looked at; correct?
22 A. Are you referring on the wall that faces Pionirska Street or the
23 wall we've already examined that's above the doorway into the basement?
24 Q. Well, this -- do you not recognise this as the wall facing
25 Pionirska Street
1 A. I do. This one right here off to the right. That's the wall
2 that faces Pionirska Street.
3 Q. I believe you're mistaken. So let's go back and take a look at
4 page 5 and see if I can help you get your bearings here. Okay at the top
5 of page 5, that photograph where we can see the door underneath.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The wall that I'm showing you now is the wall that's on the
8 right-hand side. Where we're standing now, Pionirska Street is to the
9 right; correct?
10 A. Yes. It runs parallel -- it runs parallel to the building as
11 you're looking at it.
12 Q. Okay. So the wall that I was trying to show you on the next page
13 is not the wall we're looking at now, but it's the wall that joins it on
14 the right-hand side?
15 A. That's what I asked you, yes, sir.
16 Q. Now, if you can look back there and see if you can get your
17 bearings. Okay?
18 A. Yep.
19 Q. And again we have the same damage to the house; correct?
20 A. There's -- there's tiles missing, yes.
21 Q. Now, the last wall of the house, we have a different pattern.
22 And it seems this wall of the house on the bottom photograph of page 6 is
23 the wall of the house that's furthest away from the door. Is that not
25 A. The picture at the bottom of page 6 is not the rear end of the
1 building as we approached it. The picture of the walls on page -- at the
2 bottom of page 6, these are the two front edges of the building that face
3 you as you approach the dwelling.
4 Q. Okay. Let's see if we can call up that photograph. It's
5 Y020-3491. And the part of the -- the -- this photograph that I want to
6 draw your attention to is the bottom row of bricks. You see how -- it
7 seems that every brick on the bottom row is broken in half. Do you see
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could I ask that you, during my cross-examination of you, always
11 use a green pen. This way we will always be sure that in response to my
12 questions you use the green pen. I know you have used red and blue.
13 Okay. They tell me that our choices today are just blue and red,
14 so if you would mark it, could I ask you to put your initials on the
15 bottom so I know the ones with your initials were the ones in response to
16 questions from me. So if you would put your initials perhaps in the
17 upper left-hand corner. I won't be working with that part of the
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. Could I ask you now to -- oh, we do have green. Okay. So that
21 the record is clear, you'll be making marks in green in response to my
23 Could I ask you to circle the bottom row of bricks in this wall
24 that are all broken.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could I tender that into evidence, please.
2 MR. ALARID: Objection, relevance.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit it.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P266, Your Honours.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Now, the question I have for you, when you talk about blast
7 overpressure, if there was a violent explosion in the interior of the
8 room underneath where these bricks are, or underneath the first floor, am
9 I correct in thinking that one of the places where this blast
10 overpressure would have exerted itself was on the ceiling, on the
11 concrete slab above where the people were?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And is it consistent with blast overpressure that we might see
14 the patterns we've seen here where the walls closest -- or three of the
15 walls it seems bricks fell out or fell in, and on this wall it seems that
16 just the bottom row of bricks all seem to be cracked all along the
17 bottom. Would that be consistent with the effect of blast overpressure?
18 A. I believe the amount of explosives to -- that would need to be
19 utilised to crack every single brick at the corner -- bottom corner of
20 that foundation would have destroyed the dwelling to begin with. So I
21 find it very unlikely that those rows of bricks were strictly broken from
22 just the blast overpressure of the device in this incident.
23 Q. But would the blast overpressure cause that slab that's the
24 ceiling in the room where it happened and the floor of the first floor,
25 would it not cause that to -- would the shockwave not vibrate that slab?
1 A. I'm not saying it wouldn't vibrate it, but to cause that amount
2 of damage especially when you have two windows down in the bottom
3 dwelling area or living space on top of a door, I find it very unlikely.
4 Q. Any idea, then, based on your expertise what would have caused
5 every brick along the bottom row to crack like that?
6 MR. ALARID: Calls for speculation.
7 MR. GROOME: Can he answer the question, Your Honour?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let him answer the question.
9 THE WITNESS: Do I have an answer for that? No, I don't. I'm
10 not a carpenter, so I wouldn't know why that would deteriorate the way it
12 MR. GROOME:
13 Q. Well, you mean you did --
14 A. And again the upper parts of the building were not in the area
15 that my exploitation was being needed. It was strictly the one room down
17 Q. So you didn't look at the rest of the building?
18 A. It's -- no. There was nothing to look at from my -- from my
20 Q. And you made that determination without looking, or you looked
21 and made a determination that there was nothing of significance when you
23 A. I walked the perimeter of the building and saw that there was no
25 Q. And so it's your evidence that there's no significance whatsoever
1 that the clay bricks on the walls directly above where an explosive
2 device was detonated, it's your evidence that that's not significant?
3 A. It's not -- I don't believe it's significant due to the amount of
4 concrete that's surrounding in the slabs of the room below. And you have
5 the two openings of the window and the doorway to vent the blast
6 overpressure after it bounced around inside.
7 Q. Did you measure the thickness of the slab?
8 A. No. There's no way to tell. There's so much grass. As you look
9 in the pictures there's grass and vegetation and a tree growing in the
10 middle of the house. There is no way to tell how deep or thick the
11 concrete is at different areas.
12 Q. Let me move to a different area now. Can I ask you to turn your
13 book to page 9. Page 9 has pictures that you took of the windows in the
14 room where the detonation occurred. Now, am I correct in saying that
15 the -- the two photos on this page, the top picture is the window on the
16 left immediately behind the entrance door, and the photo on the bottom is
17 the -- is the window to the right furthest from the entrance door?
18 A. If you walk in and face the left wall, you're correct in that.
19 The window up top is to the left closest to the actual entrance to the
20 room, and the photo on the bottom is the one furthest away from the
22 Q. Now, the pictures that you took of the windows, the window jambs
23 are missing. The wooden frame that holds the glass is gone?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. ALARID: Objection. Assumes facts not evidence. There is no
1 indication, I believe, within the record that there was glass windows
2 within those openings.
3 MR. GROOME: If Counsel rereads VG-18 or VG-13, I think there's
4 ample testimony about what was in these windows.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, answer the question.
6 MR. GROOME:
7 Q. But again, sir, you're allowed to answer even hypothetical
8 questions. If there were glass windowpanes in this, in the frame, is it
9 possible that blast overpressure could drive out the frames, could push
10 them out?
11 A. Possible, but I highly doubt it.
12 Q. And why do you highly doubt it?
13 A. Because the glass would have broken which would have vented it
14 immediately. If this was boarded up and all the same material, the same
15 wood, was closed -- closed off this entire portion, then I would say,
16 yes, it's probable that the blast overpressure of a device could have
17 pushed out the entire framework including the frame around the stonework.
18 It's path of least resistance. The glass breaks there goes your blast
19 overpressure out the window. It's not going rip away -- let me rephrase
20 that. It's unprobable that it ripped it out and pulled it to the outside
21 of the building.
22 Q. So then if it's not here now, it seems then that someone would
23 have removed it, then, sometime after the blast.
24 A. It's possible.
25 Q. Well, it seems that it has to be one or the other. Either it was
1 knocked out as a function of the blast, or it was taken out by someone
2 who manually took it out of the window; correct?
3 A. One or the other. But I don't believe it was blown out of the
5 Q. How about the door? Is it the same possibility for the door?
6 Let's say the door was closed and locked or sealed in some way. Is it
7 possible that the blast overpressure would push out the door including
8 the door jamb?
9 A. It's possible but, again, the door is made of a thick material,
10 so the door itself would come off prior to the framework being ripped out
11 of the foundation.
12 Q. So it's your belief that the most probable scenario is the door
13 would tear off the hinges before the entire door frame would go --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. -- out?
16 A. Yes. Path of least resistance. The door is the weakest link in
17 the chain, and it would have been blown out without removing the door
19 Q. Now, you mentioned that part of your -- one of the jobs that you
20 had was in construction. When you looked at this door and this doorjamb
21 in the building, do you believe it was the door that was there at the
22 time of the explosion?
23 A. No and my expertise in construction was in a deep tunnel project
24 with a jackhammer on the back of a mole machine, no carpentry skills.
25 Q. What made you come to the conclusion, though, that it was not the
1 door or the doorjamb that was there at the time of the explosion?
2 MR. ALARID: I believe that misstates the answer. I think he was
3 qualifying his construction experience.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Reformulate, Mr. Groome.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Well, let me ask you again. Do you think this was the -- this
7 was the door that -- and the door frame that was present during the --
8 the time of the explosion?
9 MR. ALARID: Objection, calls for speculation.
10 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'm going to ask for an instruction to
11 Counsel to cease with these incessant objections with respect to
12 speculation. He is a witness that is allowed. I can put to him an
13 explosion on Pluto, and he's allowed to answer that. He's allowed to
14 speculate. He's a qualified --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Precisely, Mr. Alarid. They are quite pointless
16 in relation to this witness.
17 Let's proceed.
18 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, how can this witness say when this door
19 was put or not put, whether it was original or not original?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let him say it whether he can say it or not,
22 MR. GROOME:
23 Q. So, sir --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: He's here as an expert.
25 MR. GROOME:
1 Q. Tell us about the door. Do you have an opinion as to whether it
2 was the original door or not?
3 A. No, I do not.
4 Q. So you're unable to say?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. So your conclusion about there being no fire damage on door
7 really has no relevance; is that not correct?
8 A. No, I was never asked about fire damage to the door. That's not
9 my area of expertise. I'm not an arson investigator.
10 Q. Weren't you asked that on direct examination?
11 A. No, not to the door, no. No.
12 Q. The doorjamb?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Just have a second. Let me just --
15 A. I don't believe I was.
16 Q. Sir, when you were shown photograph 3638, it was the doorjamb.
17 And I'll find it on the transcript, but your testimony records you as
18 saying there was no fire and there was no impact. Do you --
19 A. I was asked about impact marks on the concrete surfaces near the
20 door. I was not asked about fire on the door.
21 Q. Let me just see. It's on page 60. Let me just call it up. I
22 apologise for taking this time, but page 60. Mr. Alarid asked you --
23 this is what the transcript records you as saying. Page 60, line 9.
24 "Q. Now, do you see any impact marks, or is there any evidence
25 of fire?"
1 And your answer was:
2 "A. Neither."
3 Do you wish to change that answer now?
4 A. No. There's --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: In relation to what?
6 Mr. Groome.
7 MR. GROOME: Okay, I'm sorry. Let me read the question before.
8 Question by Mr. Alarid:
9 "Q. And just to show what we're seeing --
10 "A. It's a photograph of the same wall behind the door,
11 just the lower half of the door."
12 And then you he said:
13 "Q. Now do you see any impact marks, or is there any
14 evidence of fire?"
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: But that appears to relate to the wall behind
16 the door.
17 MR. GROOME: This is -- well, let me clarify.
18 Q. When Mr. Alarid asked you just the lower half of the door?
19 A. No. The observation that I was making off of that photograph was
20 to say that it's the same wall from the previous picture, it's just the
21 lower half of the wall. You're looking at a picture of the lower half of
22 the wall, lower half of the door.
23 Q. So what is your evidence now with respect to your observations of
24 the door and the doorjamb? Is it that there was evidence of fire on it,
25 or there was not evidence of fire on it?
1 A. I'm not qualified to make that assumption or any speculation
2 thereof because I'm not an arson guy; I'm an explosives guy.
3 Q. But I mean I think it's -- you don't need to be an expert. Isn't
4 part of all of our common experience as humans that we have seen burnt
5 wood, whether it be a log on a fireplace or, you know, a piece of wood
6 that's burnt. Are you saying that you have no impression of whether
7 there was fire damage on the door?
8 MR. ALARID: Could the witness be shown the photograph.
9 MR. GROOME: Call up -- I think it's all of these are Y020.
11 Q. Now is this the -- this is the photograph we were speaking about
12 and --
13 A. That's the top portion of the doorjamb door and above someone's
14 head on the wall.
15 Q. And --
16 A. Behind the door as it opens up into the room.
17 Q. And what is your evidence with respect to whether there's fire
18 damage on this doorjamb?
19 A. No, there doesn't appear by this photo to be any fire damage.
20 Q. Could I ask that we zoom in. There's a piece of wood sticking
21 horizontally at the top of the door. Could I ask that we just zoom in
22 there. Maybe zoom in even more. Maybe slide up to it now.
23 Now, when I look at that piece of wood, I see one side appears to
24 be black, and the underneath part seems to be white ash. Is that not
25 fire damage?
1 MR. ALARID: Objection, calls for speculation. Lack of
2 foundation with regard to the --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please stop. Please stop, Mr. Alarid. Please
4 stop. You are irritating me.
5 MR. ALARID: [Overlapping speakers] ... then the Prosecutor is
6 testifying, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness answer the question.
8 THE WITNESS: Based on this photograph, I cannot make that
10 MR. GROOME:
11 Q. Let me ask you to take a look at another one. Could I ask that
12 you look at 1D151 in evidence. It was admitted as a Defence exhibit.
13 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that we zoom in on the edge of the door
14 frame there. Any portion of the edge. Not the door itself but the edge.
15 You'll see the -- the unpainted wood and then the black edge. If we
16 could zoom in even more.
17 Q. Now, Mr. O'Donnell, it seems looking at this that the entire edge
18 of the door appears to be -- have burnt. The wood seems burnt. Is that
19 not correct?
20 A. I disagree. When we were in the room itself, none of the wood
21 that we looked at, none of the wood that we tested as far as touch, feel
22 had any fire damage whatsoever.
23 Q. So now you're --
24 A. We found a lot.
25 Q. Now you're saying you're competent to recognise fire damage?
1 A. No, I am saying in picking up pieces of wood there was no
2 charcoal transfer from the wood to my clothing, to my boots, to my
3 gloves, any of that.
4 Q. Okay --
5 A. I did not --
6 Q. I agree -- I accept that it's possible that a piece of wood could
7 be burnt and time has elapsed and it was no longer possible if you were
8 to contact it with your clothing or your hands, there would be evidence
9 of ash. Accepting that. But that's not the same as saying there's no
10 damage caused by fire to the wood, is it?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Now these are pictures that you took. So we're relying on your
13 observations and the pictures that you took. Now, I want to show you --
14 I mean, as good as this technology is, it's still not as -- it doesn't
15 have the definition of an actual photograph. So these are the
16 photographs that -- that Mr. Alarid provided me. I'm going to ask you to
17 look at Y020-3639. It's a photographic print of the picture you took.
18 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that the witness be shown this.
19 Q. I'd ask you that you take a look at it. And you look at the
20 piece of -- of -- again, this is the piece of wood that's horizontal.
21 It's in the top edge of the door. Is it not fire damage on that piece of
23 A. I cannot conclude that from this.
24 MR. GROOME: Could I ask that it be shown to the Court and to
25 Defence counsel, and I'd ask that it be tendered into evidence.
1 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I would object only so much as we have
2 the electronic copy. I don't see the necessary relevance of this print
3 taking some precedent over the digital copy that's on the screen in front
4 us. They're identical photograph. I think we can all stipulate to that.
5 But I think that trying to characterise the printout as showing something
6 that the screen does not would be improper in this situation.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: The objection is without merit. We'll admit it.
8 MR. GROOME:
9 Q. Now, sir if we could -- I'm sorry?
10 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise. That's Exhibit P267, Your Honours.
11 MR. GROOME:
12 Q. Now if we could return to the lower photograph on page 9. We can
13 see the doorjamb. There's no wooden structure or window jamb --
14 A. Are you referring to your book?
15 Q. Actually it's your photographs and it's the books that I put --
16 A. [Overlapping speakers] ...
17 MR. ALARID: [Overlapping speakers] Your Honour, we would object
18 to characterising them as Mr. O'Donnell's photographs. They were
19 tendered. They could be the arson investigator's photographs; they could
20 be Mr. Jenkins photographs. They were separated by memory card when they
21 were tendered --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes, yes.
23 Mr. Groome, please use the correct description.
24 MR. GROOME:
25 Q. Is this the photograph that you took?
1 A. I can't say if it was or not. A lot of us -- we took photographs
2 of the same material. You were talking about a photograph just a second
3 ago on page 9 at the bottom.
4 Q. Yes, I want to ask you a question about that photograph.
5 A. Okay, that's the window, not the door.
6 Q. Yeah, I misspoke what I said [Overlapping speakers] ...
7 A. Just making sure I'm tracking where you're going.
8 Q. There is no wooden window jamb --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, please. There's a complaint
10 which I have heard of overlapping --
11 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- between counsel and the witness.
13 MR. GROOME:
14 Q. The window that we see here has no wooden window jamb in which
15 glass could be affixed; correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. What we do see are clay bricks mortared into the window lying
18 sideways; correct?
19 A. That's a possible observation. I don't know if they're
20 necessarily mortared in there, but they're within the window jamb, yes.
21 Q. And if we accept the evidence of -- or the observations of the
22 survivors, they weren't there on that night. So it seems that logic
23 would -- would draw us to the conclusion that someone has attempted to
24 make some use of these rooms, that these bricks were put here for a
25 purpose; correct?
1 A. It's -- it's -- it's definitely accurate to say that somebody has
2 occupied this dwelling since the night of the incident, yes.
3 Q. Well, you say "someone," and I want to explore that assumption
4 with you. The bricks are put in in such a way that in the cold winter,
5 and it gets very cold here in Visegrad during the winter, the wind would
6 simply pass through the blocks the way they're put in now; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. That if someone were to put these blocks in the window because
9 they wanted to inhabit it, to live in it, common sense tells us they
10 would have put them in the way they're meant to be put so that there is
11 no gap; is that not correct?
12 A. Sure. I don't understand where you're going with this.
13 Q. But you agree with me that if someone were going to dwell in this
14 house and wanted to put these bricks here to make it a dwelling, they
15 would have put it, the bricks, in a way that blocked the wind, not
16 permitted the wind to come in; correct?
17 A. True.
18 Q. Would you agree with me that the blocks put here seem more
19 consistent not with someone inhabiting it but someone keeping animals in
20 this room after the blast?
21 A. No.
22 MR. ALARID: Objection, calls for -- well, calls for --
23 THE WITNESS: No, I disagree. The window that you're looking at
24 right now has possibly a five-foot drop further to the ground outside of
25 it than the window closest to the door does. [French on English channel]
1 MR. GROOME: It seems -- it seems the French translation -- it
2 seems the French translation is coming across the English channel.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
4 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I just got that.
5 MR. GROOME:
6 Q. Let me now take you to page 10.
7 Now, both of the photographs on page 10 are photographs of the
8 ceiling in the ground floor space of this house; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the top photograph is the ceiling just immediately outside
11 the entrance door. Is that not correct?
12 A. It's difficult to stipulate that that is based off of this
14 Q. Well, then the bottom photograph, are you able to say from the
15 bottom photograph whether it is actually inside the room or outside the
17 A. The bottom photograph I could say is inside the room. If you
18 look in the bottom left-hand corner, you can see the top framework of a
19 window. So therefore that tells me that's the ceiling inside the room.
20 Q. Now when you were doing your post-blast exploitation, did you
21 examine the ceiling of the room as well?
22 A. As far -- as far as what? Look for it for what?
23 Q. Well, the things that you look for when you do post-blast
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. Well, from your description of what happens when something's
2 detonated, it seems that the ceiling might even have been a better place
3 to look for impact marks because people wouldn't have blocked the path to
4 the ceiling?
5 A. You're absolutely correct in that statement, but the -- the
6 amount of decay to the ceiling prevented us with moisture coming in --
7 water was actively dripping from the ceiling. It prevented us from doing
8 any -- any exploitation of the ceiling.
9 Q. Well, am I correct in saying, according to your observations,
10 there was more rebar exposed inside the room than outside the room?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And they both would be subjected to the same level of decay. In
13 fact it could be argued that the ceiling of the portico, of the area just
14 outside the door, might even be more exposed to the elements; correct?
15 MR. ALARID: And, Your Honour, I would object to relevance and
16 outside the witness's area of expertise, calls for speculation.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Answer the question.
18 THE WITNESS: Would you repeat the question, please.
19 MR. GROOME:
20 Q. Let me just put it very simply. The area of the ceiling just
21 outside the door, in the portico area, had less rebar exposed than the
22 area inside the room itself; correct?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Now, taking what you've told us about how blast overpressure
25 works, is it possible that a blast going off in the room, that the
1 shockwave up to the ceiling could have played some part in the amount of
2 concrete material that is missing here and exposing the rebar?
3 A. Yes, it's possible.
4 Q. Now, if we could look at page 8, and these are photographs that
5 you worked with on your direct examination. I don't recall at the moment
6 which exhibits they are now marked as. These impact marks, can you tell
7 us approximately how deep they are?
8 A. Fractions of an inch.
9 Q. Can you be a little more precise, a half inch, quarter of an
11 A. They went through the plaster on the wall and then met with a
12 more dense material of the concrete behind it, so, therefore, they didn't
13 travel as far in. So the plaster of the wall could have been a 16th of
14 an inch thick, and it definitely went through that, and it left small
15 indentions on the actual concrete it he have.
16 Q. The blast impact mark that we see at the bottom seems to have
17 some blackening inside it. Is that of any significance to you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. It would be your understanding that it it's simply dirt or some
20 other foreign matter?
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. This particular photograph is the one where you said you were
23 able to calculate a trajectory from; is that correct? That's the bottom
24 photograph on number 8.
25 A. The probability of the trajectory is more accurate than actually
1 calculate the trajectory, yes.
2 Q. Now, from your testimony you mentioned two impact marks where you
3 estimated the trajectory as the explosive device originating somewhere
4 below and moving up towards the impact marks; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Were there only two of the 30 impact marks that you were able to
7 make that estimation? Or were there more?
8 A. Those two specific, I came to that conclusion. I've also said
9 that these impact marks could have been made by anything. That's in my
10 testimony. That's in my written report as well.
11 Q. Okay. I guess what I'm trying to get at is, were any of the
12 impact marks that you saw consistent with just the direct horizontal path
13 from the explosion to the wall?
14 A. Some of them, yes.
15 Q. And were there -- how many showed this upward trajectory?
16 A. I'd say maybe about half.
17 Q. And of the remaining half, did any show a downward trajectory?
18 A. I did not -- I did not witness that there, no.
19 Q. The fact that you saw half of the impact marks with an upward
20 trajectory and half with no upward trajectory, can we conclude from that
21 that there was a probability that two explosions occurred in this room?
22 A. It's possible, but witness accounts only say one explosion, and
23 then -- and half hour to an hour of gunshots and screaming. So your
24 impact marks that are -- appear to be straight, parallel to the floor,
25 could possibly have come from weapons instead of a device exploding in
1 the room itself.
2 Q. Now, am I right in thinking that a fragment that travels at high
3 velocity with enough speed to impact a wall of concrete and leave a mark
4 like this, that at least in some of these there should have been whatever
5 that particle was imbedded in the concrete; right?
6 A. Should have been. I didn't find any other than the one fragment
7 that I produced for the Court today.
8 Q. And what percentage would you would expect to find fragments
9 embedded in a wall?
10 A. I don't have an answer for that because I don't know what the
11 device is made out of. And I've said in my testimony that the fragment
12 that I brought was not organic to the foundation. Meaning it wasn't a
13 piece of rebar. So it could have been any type of foreign matter.
14 Q. But it seems that it was a ferrous material which you've told us
15 is also the same type of material that's used in hand grenades.
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. So it's possible the fragment you found is a hand grenade
18 fragment; correct?
19 A. Possible.
20 Q. So my question to you is that if it's likely that the particles,
21 the fragments, would embed themselves in the impact marks that they make,
22 that seems to suggest that they were removed, no? At least in some of
23 these impact marks.
24 A. It didn't look like anybody had gone in there and tried to
25 excavate any of the impact marks prior to me being there. So as far as
1 why we have impact marks that there are that should potentially have
2 fragmentation in them, I don't know why it's not there. And I've also
3 stated that these impact marks could have been made by other things other
4 than an explosion.
5 Q. Let's -- you're here as our explosives expert, so let's focus on
6 that. Is it possible that had some of the fragments embedded themselves
7 in the wall that if somebody went into this room and washed it down with
8 a powerful fire hose that that could dislodge some of the fragments that
9 you would have expected to see in the holes. Is that possible?
10 A. I guess.
11 Q. Could I ask that you be shown Y020-5579. Just looking over my
12 notes, I see that was adequately covered on direct examination. So I ask
13 that it not be called up. There is really no need for me to go into that
15 I'd like to talk to you about your conclusions now of your
16 report. In your report you say:
17 "There was some kind of explosive device used in this incident."
18 So you state with a level of scientific certainty commensurate
19 with your experience and expertise that an explosive device was detonated
20 in this room; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, I have Retired Colonel Travers next to me and another person
23 that I've consulted on this. May have been your superior, I don't know,
24 in Afghanistan
25 and see maybe he's someone that you know. He was the Chief of Operations
1 for counter improvised explosive device branch, a senior advisor to the
2 commander of the force in Afghanistan
3 someone like this, the Chief of Operations of --
4 A. No.
5 Q. One of the things they've suggested I explore with you is fuel
6 air effect. Are you familiar with that?
7 A. Familiar.
8 Q. Can I ask you to tell us what is the fuel air effect?
9 A. If -- I believe you're referring to fay [phoen] bomb type of --
10 is that what we're referring to?
11 Q. Well, let me give you my understanding --
12 A. Fuel air dispersion and ignition of that. Is that what we're
13 referring to?
14 Q. I'm not sure I understand what you're putting to me now. So let
15 me put to you what I think the definition is, and please correct me if --
16 if I'm misstating it. Am I correct in stating that a fuel air effect is
17 when flammable vapours present in the air ignite causing an explosion.
18 It would be similar to holding a lit match over a can, open can of
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. So that's the fuel air effect?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. So it's not the can of gasoline that's exploding --
24 A. It's the vapours.
25 Q. -- it's the vapours that have accumulated. And that's why on
1 every gasp pump in the world there's a warning not to be there with an
2 open light; correct?
3 A. Right.
4 Q. Now, in the case of an enclosed space, the fuel air effect can be
5 very great. So for an example, in the case of a house which has a
6 natural gas leak, if the gas vapours accumulate in the house and are not
7 allowed to escape, if they are ultimately ignited by something, you can
8 have a catastrophic destruction of the house; correct?
9 A. Yes, you can.
10 Q. Now, in the case of volatile chemicals, would high heat, high
11 humidity contribute to the rate at which these volatile chemicals are
12 transformed into flammable vapours? Is that correct?
13 A. Are you asking is it going to accelerate the process the liquid
14 goes into a vapour?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Then, yes.
17 Q. So if we had a can of gasoline in the winter and we had a can of
18 gasoline in the summer, we could expect greater vapours to be created
19 during the summer?
20 A. Absolutely.
21 Q. Now, early in your remarks, and you've mentioned it several times
22 in your answers to me, the importance of witness accounts. I think you
23 said that's one of the first things that you try to do when evaluating a
24 site is to see what the witnesses say. Now, there has been evidence from
25 witnesses that there was some sort of volatile chemical soaked into the
1 carpet of this room when they entered it. Would the fact that it was a
2 summer night, that approximately 70 people each giving off their own body
3 heat, the fact that the windows were closed, the door was closed, might
4 this all contribute to the potential for a fuel -- fuel air effect
5 explosion in that room?
6 A. It's possible.
7 Q. And would closing the door of the room also contribute to the
8 concentration of flammable vapours in the room?
9 A. Yes, if you don't have a venting source, yes.
10 Q. Now, accepting that scenario, what might happen if someone opened
11 that door with an open flame in their hand, perhaps a match, perhaps a
12 Molotov cocktail? What would happen if a person was at the doorway,
13 opened it with some kind of lit flame in their hand?
14 A. They could possibly expect an explosion in their face.
15 Q. From the vapours in the room?
16 A. Possible, yes.
17 Q. And would it be likely that the -- the source of ignition would
18 begin at the flame in the person's hand; correct?
19 A. Yes, it would.
20 Q. And it's quite possible that they, themselves, might be injured
21 at least in the hand in which they're holding that lit frame?
22 A. That size of room that possible scenario they would be lucky to
23 just walk away with just injuries to their hand.
24 Q. Okay.
25 And there could be a terribly violent explosion because of fuel
1 air effect?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. It could be as powerful or perhaps even more powerful than a hand
5 A. In that room it would possibly be more powerful than a hand
7 Q. And that explosion would essentially be a cloud of flame that
8 entirely -- entirely engulfed the room and all of the participants in it;
10 A. Momentarily, yes.
11 Q. And such an explosion would also cause blast overpressure;
13 A. Yes. Not to the extent of an actual chemical breakdown of an
14 explosive, but, yes, it would cause blast overpressure.
15 Q. Okay. Now, I'd like you to look at page 25 of the -- of the book
16 that you have before you. Now, these are pictures from the ground floor
17 of that house, pictures taken by either you or one of your colleagues on
18 the 29th of January. Can you tell me precisely where these pictures were
20 A. I believe this is in a very small crawl space. If you're looking
21 at the entrance it's kind of tucked up to the right of the door, if
22 you're looking at the entrance of the room. It's outside the room.
23 Q. Okay. Could I ask that we split the screen. And on the other
24 side we call up photograph Y020-3344.
25 While that's being called up, would you agree with me that this
1 is clear evidence of fire-damaged wood?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. GROOME: So the number again is Y020-3344.
4 Q. Okay. We're looking at the house. We're looking at the
5 entranceway. If I ask you to circle the area where this wood was, would
6 you be able to do that on this photograph?
7 A. I believe so, yes.
8 Q. So could I ask you to take the pen. Hopefully it's in green.
9 A. I'll wait for assistance.
10 Q. Could I ask you to begin by putting your initials somewhere, not
11 on the house, and then when you're able to circle as precisely as you can
12 the area where this wood was.
13 A. It's tucked up in this area over here.
14 Q. Okay. Could I ask you just simply, so it would be easier for us
15 later on, just to put "burnt material," or "burnt wood," something to
16 indicate what that arrow means.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And that's -- that's -- actually, maybe if -- if the court usher
19 would remain there. Just so the record is clear, we've gone away from
20 green and we're back to blue, but in case these are marks that you made
21 in response to my questions.
22 Now, could I ask that that exhibit now be tendered.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P268, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, how much longer will you be?
1 MR. GROOME: I think I only have about ten more questions,
2 Your Honour. I think we should move rather briefly.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because I'd like to try to complete this
4 witness's evidence.
5 MR. GROOME: Just a couple more photographs.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid, are you going to be re-examining?
7 MR. ALARID: Your Honour, I -- I look at maybe using two
8 photographs for clarification and the questions that it would take to
9 clarify two photographs.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, proceed.
11 MR. GROOME: Okay. I ask that I tender the picture of the house
12 where Mr. O'Donnell has made some markings, then once that's done could I
13 ask that that be removed. And if we could zoom in on the left-hand side
14 of the top photograph.
15 Okay. If we could just go back to one image on the screen and
16 please focus, enlarge the left-hand side of the upper photograph.
17 Q. Now, let's take a close look at this burnt material. There's no
18 question that this is severely charred material; correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Now, it appears -- you see the piece of wood sticking out that
21 does not seem to have any damage from fire?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can I ask you to circle that, please.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Am I right when I look at this, I mean, you were there, you saw
1 this up close, to me when I look at that it seems that that is a thin
2 strip of wood that has been fixed to the concrete foundation horizontally
3 so that another -- something else could be attached to it. Is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it's the material that was attached to it that seems to have
7 sustained the burns, not this piece that it was affixed to; correct?
8 A. The edges look like they're fried, but, yes, more damage to
9 what's affixed to it, yes.
10 Q. Now, I know that as furring strip. Are you familiar with that
11 term furring strip?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Furring strip would be horizontal pieces of wood that something
14 is attached to. I want to show you another photograph. Could I tender
15 this into evidence?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P269, Your Honours.
18 MR. GROOME: And can I call up -- can I call up a Defence
19 exhibit -- well, before I call it up as a Defence exhibit, will it be
20 possible for the witness to mark in green? If not, I'd call up a fresh
21 copy so there's no confusion. Perhaps let's not take any chances and
22 we'll call up a fresh copy. So I would call up Y020-3398. And I want to
23 tender this into evidence. So this will be tendered?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it was admitted as Exhibit --
1 MR. GROOME: [Overlapping speakers] ... I see that it's been
2 erased. I don't want it erased. What's that?
3 THE REGISTRAR: It's saved already.
4 MR. GROOME: It's saved already.
5 I'm finished with this exhibit, and could I call up Y020-3398.
6 That's Y020-3398.
7 Q. Sir, this is a photograph that you already worked with with
8 Mr. Alarid. What interests me at this point in time is you see the strip
9 of wood underneath the window?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That's not the same type that we were just looking at, is it not?
12 A. It's -- I mean, it's a piece of wood. Are you asking for me to
13 narrow it down if it's oak or elm, or -- it's a piece of wood.
14 Q. No, I'm not asking that.
15 A. Okay. It's a piece of wood, yes.
16 Q. Is it of the same proportions as the other piece of wood we saw;
17 namely, a thin strip of wood affixed to the concrete foundation?
18 A. While on site that piece of wood actually looked like it was
19 embedded in the foundation, not strictly attached to the surface, it
20 looked like it was a part of the wall.
21 Q. Could I ask that you circle that piece of wood that we're talking
22 about so that it will be clear for future reference.
23 A. [Marks]
24 MR. GROOME: And I would tender that into evidence.
25 THE WITNESS: Do you want my initials?
1 MR. GROOME: Yes, if you wouldn't mind.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P270, Your Honours.
4 MR. GROOME:
5 Q. And the last photograph that I want you to take a look at is
7 Now, here we see, do we not, a piece of similar wood not affixed
8 to the wall but leaning up against it; correct?
9 A. Correct. Bottom left corner.
10 Q. Could I ask you to circle that.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Was that as you found it, or was that removed from the wall?
13 A. That was as I found it.
14 MR. GROOME: I tender that exhibit. And I ask that Exhibit P269
15 be called up again.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit P271, Your Honours.
18 MR. GROOME:
19 Q. I just have one more question for you, Mr. O'Donnell, when the
20 picture is placed on the screen.
21 Sir, given -- when we look at P269, given that we see this narrow
22 strip of wood relatively unblemished behind this severely charred wooden
23 material and we find similar wood inside the room where those people
24 died, you have no way of determining whether or not the entire original
25 interior surface of the wall was charred in this way, do you?
1 A. No, I don't.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. GROOME: No further questions, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Alarid.
5 MR. ALARID: Thank you.
6 With regards to this exhibit on the screen here, is this the
7 book, and can we go page by page and not have to use the separate
8 numbers? Is that how it was working?
9 THE REGISTRAR: The book is P265, Your Honours.
10 MR. ALARID: And this being the book of the Prosecution's
11 pictures that we've all been referring to.
12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, just so the record is clear. It's not
13 the Prosecution's pictures; they're Defence pictures organised in a
14 particular way by the Prosecution.
15 MR. ALARID: Yes, absolutely.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, proceed. And please remember we are trying
17 to finish by ten past 7.00.
18 MR. ALARID: Absolutely, that's why I want to get to this. Can
19 we go to page 5 as referred in the picture book.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Alarid:
21 Q. And I'd briefly like you to take a look at page 5. That's
22 page 4. Oh, I'm sorry. The next page, please.
23 Now, looking at the photographs, Mr. O'Donnell, the Prosecutor
24 mentioned the -- the removal of bricks kind of in this semi-circular
25 pattern over both the front door on the side, and I got the impression
1 that he didn't quite go out and ask you, but I got the impression that
2 the theory was whatever blast might have been in that basement room was
3 severe enough to knock out the walls.
4 And could we move to the next page, please.
5 And looking at the photograph knocking the bricks and breaking
6 the bricks along the -- where it attaches to the foundation.
7 Now, have you dealt with explosions or explosives that have -- or
8 were significant enough to blow out walls and crack foundations?
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. And -- but what is problematic is when you put an explosive
11 device of that size in a confined space does that amplify or decrease the
12 explosive charge?
13 A. When you have an explosive device inside of a confined space,
14 it's going to, I guess -- look, would you mind clarifying just so that I
15 can answer correctly, sir.
16 Q. Well, I guess this: Would a grenade or even two grenades or
17 three grenades thrown in that bottom room be of sufficient explosive
18 power to crack the foundation and blow the walls out in the upper
20 A. No. Negative. As Prosecution talked about a 155, if a 155 was
21 in there, it could have brought all the walls down on top of the room.
22 Q. But by the same analogy what would happen to anyone in that room?
23 A. With the 155 or the three grenades?
24 Q. How about 155?
25 A. You would have been very hard pressed to find bits and pieces of
2 Q. And what about hearing screams and shots for the next 30 minutes?
3 A. Negative.
4 Q. What about anyone surviving?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And just simply put, I mean, let's not -- let's not qualify it by
7 155 or even three grenades. An explosive charge sufficient to blow out
8 the walls of the upper story and crack the bricks around the foundation,
9 would we be finding survivors in that basement?
10 A. No, we would not.
11 Q. Would any survivors have made it out the door or the windows?
12 A. No, they would not have.
13 Q. And could we turn to what I think would be page 13. You were
14 shown these pictures a little bit earlier. And I say it's 12 in the book
15 but -- as numbered but 13 for e-court.
16 Do you recall looking at these pictures?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. And I think the discussion was surrounding the door and the door
19 frame and would it have blown out. If the door had been shut prior to
20 the explosion, just assuming grenade-strength explosives, would we have
21 expected the door to be blown out or the frame attached to it to be blown
23 A. No.
24 Q. Why not?
25 A. Your weakest link in the three entry points to this room the
1 windows and the door, the windows if they were -- had glass in them would
2 have been the weakest link and all the blast overpressure would have gone
3 out that way, just from we're talking about grenade-sized explosive.
4 Q. And just considering that blast overpressure as it relates to the
5 picture we saw of the ceiling, is it possible that the blast overpressure
6 could simply weaken the structure of the concrete causing an acceleration
7 of deterioration by other ambient means such as moisture and water, but
8 not necessarily cause the damage way back in 1992?
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I ask that the witness not be
11 MR. ALARID: Yeah --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I think you're doing a little leading
13 there, Mr. Alarid.
14 MR. ALARID: I apologise, Judge. I'm just trying to get through.
15 Q. Looking at the ceiling and seeing how it collapsed inside and
16 exposed the rebar, obviously moisture, you testified moisture was coming
17 through the ceiling. But my question is, is it possible that the blast
18 overpressure weakened it back in 1992, but the collapsing or the
19 deterioration happened later?
20 A. Yes, it's possible.
21 Q. And looking at the -- could we put both pictures on the screen as
22 they are from that page as opposed to zooming in? Now, just looking
23 if -- if -- if on a hypothetical the door frame had blown out, would you
24 expect to see plaster and concrete in front of the wood as you do in the
1 A. No.
2 Q. Why not?
3 A. Because it -- the wood would have pushed the plaster and concrete
4 out of its way.
5 Q. Now we see a lot of black stuff up on the ceiling and we saw it
6 around. Did you have an ability to make an observation what that black
7 stuff was?
8 A. Yes, and --
9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I don't believe I phrased this in
11 MR. ALARID: We're under the same porch where the wood was,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Answer the question.
14 THE WITNESS: We did. And I say we as the entire team, the arson
15 investigators and also Mr. Jenkins and myself, we deduced that the black
16 substance that you see on the ceilings is mould of some type.
17 MR. ALARID:
18 Q. Now, there was testimony that the old -- an old man survivor of
19 the fire was blown out an open doorway. Is it possible that someone
20 could be blown out by blast overpressure, especially an older man, maybe
21 a smaller man?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. From a grenade?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. ALARID: No further questions, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. O'Donnell. That concludes your
3 evidence --
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- and you may now leave.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Earlier today I indicated that the Chamber will
8 hold a hearing tomorrow morning in relation to a particular matter, and I
9 said that there would be a discussion. The Chamber has since developed
10 its position in relation to this matter. It will instead give a ruling,
11 and it may entertain one or two questions by way of clarification. So I
12 just want to make that clear that the Chamber will give a ruling on the
13 matter in the morning.
14 Mr. Groome.
15 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, can I just ask, does the Chamber wish
16 anyone else from the Prosecution aside from myself to be here to address
17 those questions to?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. No. I believe you're perfectly competent,
19 Mr. Groome.
20 We are adjourned. Let me just clarify one other matter for
21 tomorrow, the position with witnesses.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MR. ALARID: But other than that, Your Honour, according to VWS,
7 they may need us -- because of here state, we may not be able to proof
8 her until Monday. And so that's their qualification based on her
9 representations, not mine. But she -- and the travel time. But other
10 than that, Your Honour, you know, assuming we proof on Sunday, we would
11 have a witness for Monday. But if we don't, we wouldn't have a witness
12 until Tuesday.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We are adjourned until tomorrow
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.14 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day
17 of March, 2009, at 8.50 a.m.