Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine


The Living Force
In his analysis of the July 3, 2020 session John Helmer concentrates entirely on the rejection of the defense's request to hear Major-General Igor Konashenkov and other Russian Defense Ministry officers about the possession of the 'murder weapon' which would implicate Ukraine.

Dutch MH17 judge refuses to accept Russian evidence that Buk missile was Ukraine's --

In the readers' comments under the article cope2 added the following from this link:

Hoisted With Their Own Petard: Ukraine's Influence Operations Against Europe

The crash of Malaysian Boeing-777 over Donbass can be called the biggest and possibly the most successful and cynical campaign of Ukrainian and British special services, launched to influence the international community and leaders of foreign countries. I described in details the long and careful process of preparations to this provocation in my documentary. The authorities left the air space above the conflict zone opened on purpose, despite the use of their own combat aviation in the Donbass and an obvious threat to civilian airplanes. The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine commenced to publish falsified operations maps in advance and diminished the size of territories controlled by the Ukrainian Army. The Security Service of Ukraine prepared fabricated audio recordings of the telephone conversations by militia in advance. The British secret services sent two agents to the battle zone. They monitored the operation preparations on the spot. SBU officers General Kondratyuk and Lieutenant-Colonel Vasily Burba accompanied them. The Armed Forces of Ukraine removed the 2nd battalion of the 156th anti-aircraft missile regiment from combat duty in Mariupol and secretly relocated it to the zone where Boeing was downed. I think it was exactly the unit that launched a missile.


The Living Force
Now that the court is adjourned till August 31, 2020 John Helmer wraps up his analysis with an overview of the preliminary hearings while giving ample attention to comments made earlier by Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Dutch writing on the Ukrainian wall: Steenhuis ruling in MH17 trial prejudges verdict --

A few snippets:

The ruling issued on July 3 by Dutch district court judge Hendrik Steenhuis (lead image, right) requires the Russian defendant, Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Pulatov (centre), to prove his innocence with evidence prepared by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). By the standard announced a month earlier by the Russian Foreign Ministry, this is a fundamental violation of Pulatov's legal rights, making a guilty verdict inevitable.

Russian and international lawyers believe the defence lawyers should walk out. "In the conditions which the Dutch court has set," comments Canadian Christopher Black, a veteran litigator in international war crimes trials, "this is now nothing more than the Ukrainian civil war fought by the Kiev regime with lawyers instead of soldiers. It's a show trial. Nothing more than propaganda. No legal right for the accused is served by having his lawyers present. Since the defendants have refused to appear in person - three of them disputing the Dutch jurisdiction — the defence lawyers should withdraw."
"The charges are vague when they should be specific," Black comments. "Any defence lawyer would complain that it is not a proper indictment. In the [Anglo-American] common law when a charge is vague like that the defence can demand 'particulars' — that is, details of the specific acts which the accused are alleged to have committed, so that the defence can be prepared."

Zakharova's statement was in layman's language. Lawyers say the criminal law standards which the Foreign Ministry was invoking are the onus of proof; the admissibility of evidence; the chain of custody of evidence; presumption of innocence and proof beyond reasonable doubt.

On Friday Steenhuis ruled to dismiss the defence request to interview the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, for his evidence of the Ukrainian BUK. "The relevant records relate to the years 1986 and 1987," the judge claimed. "In that light, the court does not see how interviewing this witness [Konashenkov] can contribute to the question of where a specific missile mentioned in that record is located in the year 2014. For that reason alone the court is of the opinion that interviewing this witness cannot be of importance for any decision to be taken in the criminal case of the accused. The request is therefore rejected" (Min 58:50 to 59:40). For more details, read this.

Steenhuis went further. He refused to rule on whether to approve other requests from Pulatov's lawyers for fresh witness and evidence verification until and unless Pulatov presents his defence to the charges. "The accused has not yet made any concrete statements about allegations against him. And that means the court cannot yet determine how granting the investigation requests relating to that alternative interpretation can contribute to the accused's ability to conduct a proper defence [Min 45:13] given that it's not clear which parts of the allegations against him he contests, or which alternative scenario the accused espouses" [Min 45:23].

This claim astonishes experienced criminal lawyers. They say the judge here reverses the onus of proof. Instead of the requirement in a normal court of law, required by the Dutch criminal code of procedure, that the onus of proof of a crime is on the prosecution to demonstrate, Steenhuis is requiring Pulatov to defend his innocence with evidence of whatever alternative to the prosecution's evidence he can come up with.

"The court is currently unable to assess the pertinence of a significant number of [defence] requests and the court will therefore postpone taking a decision with respect to those requests until the defence has specified its other investigation requests within the timeframe to be set, and it becomes clear which parts of the indictment the accused disputes, or which position he wishes to adopt with respect to that" [45:53].

Russian lawyers believe the record the Dutch judge has now made is too illegal by international standards to ignore. The purpose of representing Pulatov in the preliminaries, they add, has been served. To continue, they are discussing in Moscow, makes Pulatov's lawyers accessories in the Dutch government's campaign against the Russian state.


The Living Force
Source: Netherlands files human rights case against Russia over downed Flight MH17

Netherlands files human rights case against Russia over downed Flight MH17

By Zack Newmark on Friday, 10 July 2020 - 15:05

The Dutch government announced on Friday it has filed a case against Russia for its role in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster in which nearly 300 people were killed. The case was filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), with the Netherlands confirming it would also notify the UN Security Council about the legal action.

"Nearly six years since the downing of Flight MH17, which killed all 298 people on board, the pursuit of truth, justice and accountability remains the top priority for the Dutch government," the Cabinet said in a statement. An international team of experts and investigators brought in to conduct research into the July 17, 2014 plane crash determined that a surface-to-air Buk missile from the Russian military was used to bring down the Boeing 777 passenger jet. The missile and its transporter were handled by both Russian military and the separatists, prosecutors alleged when charges were filed against four suspects in the case.

The inter-State application was filed to the ECtHR in Strasbourg, where the next-of-kin of several victims have also filed individual complaints against Russia dating back to May 2016. With the inter-State application, a large volume of intelligence gathered by the Dutch government will be shared with the surviving family members to also support their cases.

"Achieving justice for 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 is and will remain the government’s highest priority," said Stef Blok, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. "By taking this step today – bringing a case before the ECtHR and thus supporting the applications of the next of kin as much as we can – we are moving closer to this goal."

The government said in a statement that it was standing in support of all 298 victims, regardless of their citizenship, as well as their surviving family members. The plane crash victims represented 17 different nationalities, including 193 people who were from the Netherlands.

The four suspects currently on trial for shooting down the aircraft include Russian military official Oleg Pulatov, Russian men Sergey Dubinskiy and Igor Girkin, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. Pulatov is the only one of the four to be represented by attorneys in the Netherlands, with some speculation that Pulatov might testify in the case.

"The government attaches importance to continuing the meetings with Russia on the matter of state responsibility. The purpose of these meetings is to find a solution that does justice to the enormous suffering and damage cause by the downing of Flight MH17," the Dutch government said on Friday.

Similar: Netherlands to take Russia to European Court of Human Rights over MH17 downing -

International coverage in English:
Dutch Government to Take Russia to European Court Over MH17
Netherlands Takes Russia to Human Rights Court Over MH17 Crash

Coverage in Dutch:
Nederland sleept Rusland voor de rechter vanwege MH17
Nederland daagt Rusland voor mensenrechtenhof om neerhalen MH17
Nederland daagt Rusland voor rechter vanwege rol bij neerhalen MH17

Maakt Nederland kans met aanklacht tegen Rusland voor het Europees Hof?


The Living Force
Archiving the latest from SOTT. John Helmer also analyses in extenso the Dutch move to take Russia to the Court of Human Rights:

Posturing: Dutch PM files claim against Russia in EU human rights court over MH17 despite decision to delay all Ukraine-Russia cases --

Main argument:
"By submitting an inter-State application," Rutte's statement explained, "the government is sharing all available and relevant information about the downing of Flight MH17 with the ECtHR. The contents of the inter-State application will also be incorporated into The Netherlands' intervention in the individual applications submitted by the victims' next of kin against Russia to the ECHR. By taking this course of action the government is offering maximum support to these individual cases."

In fact, according to international lawyers, the Dutch move contributes nothing to the individual cases now pending from MH17 victims' families because the court has suspended all of them since December 2018.

The lawyers also point out the contradiction between alleging in the criminal trial in The Hague District Court now under way that the Russian government and military were not behind the actions of the four men accused of the shoot-down; and Rutte's allegation of Russian state guilt to the European court. "This isn't just parallel litigation, which the ECHR has already refused to allow," commented a London legal expert. "It's a vote of no confidence in the Dutch prosecutors to secure convictions in the murder case they are trying to make."

Rutte's move has been dismissed in The Netherlands by Dutch lawyers, and also by victims' families, as cynical electioneering. The prime minister, they believe, is attempting to hold on to power before the general election due next March despite having lost the majority of party votes in both houses of the Dutch parliament.

"For our prime minister Rutte," commented Dutch lawyer Alfred Vierling, "this entire circus is the crucial test case for his higher political ambitions. He has promised to the victims' families that the proverbial last stone will be turned over. Maybe, but I expect that we shall all be crushed under a pile of lies first."

"The new Dutch move," responds Canadian war crimes specialist, attorney Christopher Black, "is an attempt to mask the fact that the trial before the Dutch courts is a biassed, one-sided affair, based on unsupported claims of the Kiev regime and the suppression of the evidence provided by Russia and eye-witnesses that support the case that the Kiev regime and its allies are responsible for the shoot-down. Instead of bringing justice to the victims, this is another attempt by NATO to deny them the real justice they are due."



Jedi Council Member
Дело о крушении «Боинга» МН17 может кардинально изменить ход
10.08.2020 - 6:00

The case of the crash of the "Boeing" MH17 can dramatically change the course
10.08.2020 - 6:00
The investigation of the MH17 case may soon come to an end. The Netherlands has not been able to prove Russia's guilt. Under certain conditions, Ukraine can be blamed for the death of 298 people. If this happens, the former Kiev elite will face big problems.

The turn in the investigation of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing may occur due to the fact that Amsterdam has appealed to the European court of human rights (ECHR). And if earlier the Russian side was closed its mouth, now it is impossible. Representatives of the Russian Federation will have an advantage, since Dutch law enforcement officers will not be able to block Moscow's attempts to achieve an objective review of the case.

This opinion, in particular, is held by aviation expert Yuri Antipov. According to him, the situation around the crash case may change dramatically.

"Now the Dutch are" cooking in their own juice", not allowing Russia to be considered. However, when several countries participate in the European court of human rights, Russia will be able to take part in the same way and respond with reasoned arguments to the points that will be voiced there," the expert said.

Failure in the ECHR will draw attention to the politicization of the investigation process of this long-running case. The whole world will see with their own eyes that the investigation is trying to shift the blame to Russia. Petro Poroshenko and those politicians who supported the Maidan in 2014 will eventually have to answer for the downed Boeing.

The ECtHR has already notified Russia of the claim from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was a small matter. It is possible that Amsterdam specifically took this step so that Kiev would not be responsible for the death of 298 people.

Anton Orlovsky, especially for " Russian Spring»

Дело о крушении «Боинга» МН17 может кардинально изменить ход


The Living Force
Archiving the latest from SOTT. The title says it all:

Proof Ukrainian SBU altered phone intercept - conversation had nothing to do with MH17 --

[...] the full phone tape of Bezler published by Shary indicates that the SBU provided falsified "evidence" about the MH17 crash to the investigation team and to the Dutch justice. And neither the "great" couch experts of Bellingcat, nor the JIT and its professional experts saw it was forged. Not to mention the investigators who don't even know where is which locality of the crash area.

The fact that Bezler, which was presented by Bellingcat as an important witness in the MH17 case, was excluded by the Dutch court from the suspects list after they discovered they were screwed by the SBU, show that the "experts" of Bellingcat have absolutely no competency to investigate such a sensitive case.

None of them saw the discrepancies between the location of the crash mentioned by Bezler and the one of the MH17 crash. None of them understood that the little part of sentence present at the beginning of the extract published by the SBU could indicate important information about context is missing. None of them checked if the discussion could be about another crash, about a downed military plane.

Bellingcat, like the JIT and the Dutch court, has only one scenario and all the "evidence" has to stick to it. All the discrepancies and facts which do not fit in the scenario are put aside without any serious verification, and you believe you see what you want to see. That is how you build a bogus investigation, which leads to a kangaroo trial.

The publication of the full phone tape of Bezler proves that the official investigation was completely flawed, based on SBU fakes and forgeries, that the experts have not the competencies to assess the authenticity of evidence, and that the court in charge of the MH17 case should immediately stop the hearings and restart the investigation from scratch with a really unbiased team of really competent people.


The Living Force
Source: Relatives plan to address the hearings as MH17 trial resumes -

Relatives plan to address the hearings as MH17 trial resumes

August 31, 2020

The trial of four men for their role in the downing of flight MH17, with the death of all 298 people on board, resumed at the high-security courtroom at Schiphol airport on Monday.

The trial, which began in March, is still in its preliminary stages. Monday’s hearings focused on issues raised by the lawyers representing some 450 relatives of those killed in the crash.

Compensation and statements

‘It’s about justice, fairness, crime, and punishment,’ said lawyer Arlette Schijns on behalf of the next of kin. She also outlined the legal argument for allowing The Hague district court to also adjudicate on any future civil claims for financial compensation.

In total, 76 relatives say that they want to address the court – of those, 66 want to do so in person and 10 from another location. A further 127 victims want to submit a written victim impact statement and 316 victims have indicated that they want to apply for (financial) compensation.

The lawyers for relatives thought that each person would speak for between 15 and 20 minutes, a time period with the public prosecutor agreed with.

Lawyers for Oleg Pulatov, the only suspect to have retained counsel, told the court they had been unable to travel to Russia to meet their client during the two-month summer break in hearings. The other three men, Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko, are being tried in absentia without legal representation.

The four suspects are charged with causing the crash of flight MH17, resulting in the death of all persons on board, and of their murder. All four are said to have played key roles in the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ in eastern Ukraine, where the Buk missile which brought down the plane was fired.

Flight MH17

Everyone onboard flight MH17 was killed when it was struck by a missile on July 17, 2014, and crashed into fields in eastern Ukraine. Two-thirds of the passengers on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch.

The official investigation concluded in 2016 that the plane was shot down from Ukrainian farmland by a BUK missile ‘controlled by pro-Russian fighters’. That conclusion has been disputed by Russia, which claims that Ukrainian fighters were responsible.

Hearings will resume on September 28th.

Coverage in Dutch:
Advocaten MH17-verdachte binnenkort naar Rusland
MH17-verdachte Poelatov heeft geldproblemen, zeggen zijn advocaten

Advocaten nabestaanden MH17: Belangrijker dan vergoeding is gerechtigheid
Advocaten MH17-verdachte Pulatov gaan naar Rusland om cliënt te spreken

Minstens 76 nabestaanden van slachtoffers MH17 willen gebruikmaken van spreekrecht^tfw


The Living Force
Archiving the latest from SOTT. John Helmer analyses the above session of August 31 and paints a completely different picture of it, full of unknown details only he seems able to dig up:

MH17 show trial goes for the jackpot - defense lawyers don't object --

Two snippets:
The lawyers of the relatives have now joined the prosecution to endorse a guilty verdict in advance for the four defendants - three Russian officers, one Ukrainian - and, in order to pay for the crime, the Russian state behind them. The lawyers are proposing the judge admit into the trial proceeding evidence by relatives, each taking fifteen minutes, ten testimonies per day over at least three weeks, to advertise the compensation claim and run up the judge's cash register.

There is a problem, though. In almost four hours of speechmaking, the lawyers revealed that less than half the relatives have signed for the money shot - none of them from the families of the Malaysian and Indonesian passengers and crew killed. Counting the 30% lawyers' commission, plus costs, this is entirely an operation for the Dutch to enrich themselves at the expense, they are figuring, of the Russian treasury.

There was another problem. The two Dutch lawyers engaged to represent the Russians in the trial to argue the defence of their innocence, made no objection to the victim lawyers' pitch on the two grounds available from the Dutch code of criminal procedure - inadmissibility as to evidence, prejudice as to proof. The defence lawyers are already making money at the Russian treasury's expense.

The defence lawyers, Sabine ten Doesschate and Boudewijn van Eijck, were asked by the judge if they wished to reply to the presentations and allegations by Schijns and Langstraat. They said they did not (Min 1:4:10:10). "The defence lawyers seem to be afraid of public opinion and negative press if they challenge the veracity or the legality of the victims' lawyers," a Dutch observer commented.


The Living Force
Today, the Court's preliminary sessions resumed -- for just one day as it turned out to be, because the defense lawyers claimed to need extra time for formulating their additional wishes for further investigations, as well as for (re)constructing their defensive approach. Sessions will now resume again on November 3, 2020.

Source: Suspect claims no involvement in MH17 downing, willing to give statement

Monday, September 28, 2020 - 16:30

Suspect claims no involvement in MH17 downing, willing to give statement

Oleg Pulatov, one of the first four men to be on trial for suspected involvement in the downing of flight MH17, claims that he had no knowledge whatsoever about the Malaysia Airlines flight being shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. He is willing to make a statement about the disaster, he said in a personal conversation with his lawyers, one of the lawyers Sabine ten Doesschate said in the court of The Hague on Monday, reports.

Ten Doesschate told the court that she and her colleague Boudewijn van Eijck finally managed to go to Russia and personally meet with their client for the first time. The lawyer said that their conversations with Pulatov "led to many new insights" on how "certain facts should be interpreted differently from how the Joint Investigation Team did". There are inaccuracies in the file and the file is incomplete, she said.

Pulatov said that he had nothing to do with "ordering, monitoring, hiding and transporting the BUK rocket", the lawyer said. He also said that he was not involved in firing the missile. According to Ten Doesschate, Pulatov told them that after the MH17 disaster, he saw pieces of the plane and the bodies of victims "and found this terrible."

The man said that he was willing to make a statement in court, but his lawyers advised against this because he will be immediately arrested. "That is why we have to determine a moment and a way in which he can tell his story," Ten Doesschate said on Monday.

According to the Public Prosecution Service, Pulatov played an active role in guarding the site from which the BUK missile was fired at the Boeing 777, crashing the plane and killing all 298 people on board. The Prosecutor said there is evidence of this on tapped conversations. Among other things, one of the other suspects, Sergey Dubinskiy, can be heard telling Pulatov that a BUK missile was on its way. On the day of the disaster, Pulatov can also be heard saying that a Ukrainian military plane had been downed. The authorities believe he mistook MH17 for a military plane.

Pulatov's lawyers do not deny that their client can be heard on these recordings. But according to them, the question is how these soundbites should be interpreted.

Coverage in Dutch:
Advocaat: Pulatov ontkent rol bij neerhalen MH17 en is bereid te verklaren
Advocaat: MH17-verdachte bereid naar Nederland te komen
MH17-verdachte sprak met advocaten in Rusland: 'Hij vond de ramp vreselijk'

Nabestaande Ria blogt over MH17-proces: 'Ik wil niet huilen, nu niet'


The Living Force
Hitting a few nerves somewhere ?

Source: Kremlin advisor barred from US over election propaganda turned up in NL during MH17 trial

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 09:04
Kremlin advisor barred from US over election propaganda turned up in NL during MH17 trial

Aleksandr Malkevich, a Russian Kremlin advisor who was previously barred from the United States for spreading election propaganda, surfaced in the Netherlands during the MH17 trial in March, NRC reports [in Dutch]. According to the newspaper, the man was in the Netherlands to spread doubts about the cause of the MH17 disaster.

Malkevich attended the MH17 hearing on March 9 with accreditation, according to the newspaper. Two days earlier he was in The Hague during a screening of a documentary that casts doubt on the MH17 investigation.

Malkevich also spoke at a conference in Amsterdam organized by 'De andere krant', an alternative newspaper. Malkevich wrote a piece in that newspaper, claiming that investigation into the MH17 disaster was led by "anti-Russia madness".

The Kremlin advisor also published a book, written by Dutch-Russian Konstantin Karmanov, in which it is claimed that the Malaysia Airlines plane crashed due to a storm, and was not shot down by a BUK missile. Videos featuring that theory was recently removed from YouTube as disinformation, according to NRC.

Malkevich was previously denied entry to the United States, for trying to influence voters in the run-up to the congressional elections of 2018. The man worked for a Russian media group involved in destabilization campaigns abroad. The group was also linked to the 'troll factory' that created fake social media profiles with which it tried to steer the American elections, the newspaper wrote.

A number of parliamentarians would like to know from the government why Malkevich was allowed into the Netherlands.

"In our opinion, this propagandist of Putin is not welcome in the Netherlands," VVD parliamentarian Jeroen van Wijngaarden said to the newspaper. "The cabinet must find out what he came here to do and what options there are to designate him as an unwanted foreigner."

"How is it possible that this Russian propagandist was expelled from the US, but still got a visa here?" D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma wanted to know.

Related (Dutch only):
Hoe Russische desinformatie hier in een gratis krant belandt
De Andere Krant
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