After having mentioned yesterday evening for the first time that he had met with the members of the OTP team when drafting of his report was coming to its close, military expert Reynaud Theunens was warned today that 'he was not fully sincere' in some of his previous replies. Cermak's defense counsel attempted to prove that the witness changed some parts of his expert report after the intervention of the prosecutor

Reynaud Theunens, witness in the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac trialReynaud Theunens, witness in the Gotovina, Cermak and Markac trial

Answers the prosecution military expert Reynaud Theunens gave to General Ivan Cermak's defense yesterday resulted today in almost two hours of discussion at the trial of generals Gotovina, Cermak and Markac. The three generals are charged with crimes committed during and after Operation Storm in 1995. As the hearing yesterday drew to a close, the witness noted that in December 2007, when his expert report was almost completed, he had three meetings with the senior trial attorney for the prosecution in this case, Alan Tieger. The witness had not revealed this information before, although he was examined by the defense counsel on that topic; the defense has been questioning the witness's impartiality because of his close ties with the OTP. The witness is a military analyst in the OTP.

When Theunens appeared before the court today, presiding judge Orie told him that he, the judge, did not consider that Theunens had been 'completely sincere' up to now, reminding the witness that he was still under oath. The witness replied that he wanted to say that, but was interrupted twice by Gotovina's defense counsel Kehoe. Theunens added that he felt very sorry that this 'misunderstanding' caused 'such far-reaching consequences'.

Defense counsel Kay then implied that after the December conversation with Tieger the witness changed the title of the chapter in his report that dealt with General Cermak. In the final version of his report, he wrote that the accused general was in charge of the exercise of 'civilian/military power' in Knin and the six neighboring municipalities. The three 'draft versions' state that Cermak exercised only 'civilian power'. It is possible that the prosecutor asked Theunens 'what he meant by that formulation', the witness said; however, he contends that he then re-read the whole paragraph and decided to change 'only' its title.

As he continued his cross-examination, Kay showed Theunens a number of documents where General Cermak issues orders to the military police regarding the freedom of movement of the UN monitoring mission and civilians, implying that he had no authority to do that; it remains unknown if the orders reached their final destination and were implemented in the first place. Theunens rejected this, saying that more than one such order was issued; this means that Cermak did have the power to do so. Theunens also believes that the orders were implemented, corroborating this with example of Cermak's letter to General Forand, UN Sector South commander, of 11 August 1995, where Cermak informs General Forand that as of that date there would be freedom of movement for the international observers. According to Theunens, this means Cermak did have jurisdiction in that matter.

This was the tenth day of Theunens evidence; his cross-examination continues tomorrow.