This is a case in South Carolina against two military contractors who were hired by the defendant to travel to Europe with the intention of inspecting various weapons for sale abroad. The weapons in question had been rejected by the US military. During the inspection, one of a lot of antipersonnel mines exploded, killing one individual and severely injuring another. An expert on international arms procurement was needed to consult on the patterns of weapons being bought and sold similarly abroad, and asses the actions of the military contractors.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Briefly describe your experience and knowledge relating to the international procurement of similar weapons.
- 2. Can you speak to international regulations and inspection requirements as it relates to weapons of this class, age, and make?
Expert Witness Response E-092284
There are two initial aspects to this case, both covered in the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG), which I authored: first, the transfer of weapons which may or may not have been illegal and, secondly, the age of the ammunition, lack of in-service proof and surveillance, and the inherently unsafe fuse by design. These final factors mean that, unless the contractors were formally trained in detail on the ammunition, duty of care had not taken place.
I have investigated ammunition accidents and explosions globally over the last 20 years, including explosive attacks on ships, commercial cases of ammunition being copied by another manufacturer for the International Court of Arbitration, terrorist explosive devices, and military ammunition accidents. I have served as an expert witness in the UK and have been a court expert for the International Court of Arbitration.
It would have been prudent to buy new munitions from a factory that still makes them, rather than import decrepit goods. I am an expert both on the trade of small arms and light weapons as well as the technical aspects of these weapons.