Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine


The Living Force
John Helmer continues his painstaking analysis of all things concerning MH17 and the preliminary hearings. Today he relates the work of professor Maurice Punch who analyzed the importance of the MH17 disaster in the process of reorganizing Dutch police and the propping up of the Dutch judiciary system. He also announces the publication, later this week, of his new book, "The lie that shot down MH17" (with Max van der Werff, Liane Theuerkauf and Sam Bullard).

Profits for all, except the victims: MH17 shoot-down has been a money-maker for Dutch police, prosecutors and judges --

One snippet out of a treasure trove of background info:

"This [MH17] crash was the largest disaster in recent Dutch history, not counting WWII and natural calamities," reported Punch. "The criminal investigation became the largest ever undertaken by the PPS [Public Prosecution Service]: and the recovery and identification process was the most demanding ever dealt with." Assisted in composing his report by Auke J. van Dijk and Frank Hoogewoning, employed by the Dutch police as "strategic policy advisors", Punch explained that
"[F]or the Dutch this brought something of the impact that 9/11 [the four terror attacks of September 2001] had for the US or 7/7 [the London terror bombings of July 2005] had for the UK, although this was not on home territory... It was one of those indelible calamities that unite the Dutch nation - like the catastrophic floods of 1953 with some 1800 fatalities - and it touched everyone and moved many abroad. Responding to it required a swift and concerted effort at many levels, by many agencies and by many actors... a pivotal role was played by a specialized police unit - the 'LTFO'- which contains highly skilled and even 'passionate' professionals."
LTFO stands for Landelijk Team Forensische Opsporing — National Team for Forensic Investigation.

Punch and his two policemen say they based their report of the LTFO operation in the MH17 case on interviews carried out and published by the internal police magazine Blauw ("Blue") in November 2014.

About: Blauw ("Blue") (Dutch only).


The Living Force
Russia's Foreign Ministry has announced Russia will not take part any further in talks with The Netherlands and Australia regarding its accountability in the downing of MH17, and about possible financial compensation for the victims' relatives.

The Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Russian ambassador to formally express his disappointment about the move.

Trouw daily suggests a quid-pro-quo connection with the recently announced EU sanctions following the Navalny poisoning case.

Sources in English:
Six years after MH17 tragedy, Russia withdraws from ‘pointless’ investigation consultations with Netherlands & Australia
Russia cuts off MH17 talks with Netherlands, Australia
Russia pulls out of 'pointless' talks on MH17 after Dutch European court move -

Sources in Dutch:
Rusland boos over EU-sancties en praat niet meer over MH17
Rusland staakt gesprekken over MH17, Nederland roept ambassadeur op het matje
Blok roept Russische ambassadeur op matje over afbreken overleg MH17
Russia’s Foreign Ministry believes it’s “impossible” for Moscow to continue consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, as they are not interested in uncovering the truth.

Instead, in a Thursday morning statement, Russian diplomats accused the two countries of seeking only to blame Moscow, and arriving at the process with a preconceived outcome.

It added that Russia agreed to trilateral consultations two years ago, hoping that these would help establish, based on hard facts, the true reasons behind the 2014 tragedy. The Boeing 777 crash, which occurred six years ago, during the hot phase of the war in Eastern Ukraine, took 298 lives, with 193 victims from the Netherlands and 27 from Australia.

But, according to the ministry, the Dutch and Australian governments had other goals in mind, as they only wanted “Russia to be declared the guilty party and compensation paid to the relatives of those that died,” the statement outlined.


Trouw daily:
The Kremlin no longer wants to have a discussion with the Netherlands about the MH17 case. It seems a retaliation for the European sanctions against Russia because of the poisoning of opposition leader Navalny.

The amazement of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok seemed sincere, but it was not a real surprise. On the day that the European Union announced long-awaited sanctions against Russia because of the Navalny case, the Kremlin hit back with the announcement that it no longer wants to talk about the MH17 case. The relationship with Russia is getting even further slumped.

Rutte is 'very disappointed', he said on Thursday when he arrived in Brussels for an EU summit. Relatives of the MH17 disaster, in which 298 people died, call it a 'knife in the back'. Minister Blok had 'certainly not seen it coming'. He immediately summoned the Russian ambassador on Thursday and emphasized - in a quick letter to the Lower House of Parliament - that the Netherlands continues to look for a solution that "does justice to the enormous suffering and damage inflicted".


Translated with (free version)


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): EU-steun voor Nederland over hervatten gesprekken MH17

EU support for the Netherlands on resuming talks MH17

3 hours ago in INTERIOR - Updated 2 hours ago

BRUSSELS - The Netherlands receives the explicit, unanimous support of the other 26 EU government leaders and heads of state in the new clash with Russia over MH17. The EU calls on Moscow to resume talks with the Netherlands and Australia on its responsibility for bringing down flight MH17, said Prime Minister Mark Rutte after the two-day summit in Brussels.

Rutte had updated his colleagues on the step of Russia on Friday and received their full support. The Prime Minister said to consider next steps and to work with Australia on this. But he wanted to "not speculate" whether the Netherlands, for example, wants to take punitive measures or will go to an international court.

Rutte first wants to "see what effect this will have" of the "important" appeal of his European colleagues, "the fact that now 27 European leaders have said: Russia, continue the talks." I "really want to do this very carefully," said the Prime Minister. "Step by step."

The appeal is included in the leaders' conclusions. "After more than six years since this tragic event, the 298 victims and next of kin deserve justice. The European Council supports all efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability".

Russia announced on Thursday that it will stop the talks. The Netherlands and Australia would not be interested in the truth, but only in blaming Russia. Rutte reacted "disappointed and surprised" to the unilateral decision and called it "painful" for the victims and next of kin.

Translated with (free version)

Similar: EU steunt Nederland: Moskou moet verder onderhandelen over MH17


The Living Force
Archiving the latest from SOTT. This time it's a review of the recently published book by John Helmer and others on the MH17 affair, written by Associate Professor Evan Jones, a retired political economist based in Sydney. He taught at the University of Sydney from 1973 until 2006. This review has been banned from publication in Australia. The article itself makes abundantly clear why.

Censored article: MH17 and the Australian dimension --


The Living Force
The MH17 trial preliminary hearings have resumed today.

Source: In video interview, Russian MH17 suspect denies involvement

In video interview, Russian MH17 suspect denies involvement

A suspect charged with involvement in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 has denied involvement in the attack in video interviews played in a Dutch courtroom

By MIKE CORDER Associated Press - 3 November 2020, 14:47 • 3 min read

<...> (illustration)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A suspect charged with involvement in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 denied involvement in the attack in video interviews played Tuesday in a Dutch courtroom.

The recorded comments by Oleg Putalov marked the first time the voice of one of the four suspects charged in the downing of the Boeing 777 has been heard in their trial in absentia.

After years of investigations, prosecutors concluded that a Russian-made Buk missile launched from territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels brought down the passenger jet on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board as it was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. An independent Dutch crash investigation earlier reached the same conclusion.

Pulatov said he and his forces did not have a missile of the type that prosecutors say brought down the plane and added that he was busy at meetings on the day the plane was shot down and did not see or hear a Buk missile launch.

In the interview with his Dutch lawyer that was recorded in Russia, Pulatov said that references to a Buk missile in intercepted communications that are part of prosecutors' evidence are actually deliberate misinformation.

“Whenever you hear any kind of nonsense in the conversations intercepted like mentioning the Buk, you may rest assured that that was done for the deception purposes — we wanted to mislead our adversaries,” Pulatov said.

None of the suspects has appeared for preliminary trial proceedings that are underway in a courtroom on the edge of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, from where the doomed flight took off, heading for Kuala Lumpur. The trial is expected to last at least well into next year.

Prosecutors allege that the missile that brought down MH17 was trucked into Ukraine from a Russian military base and the launcher was then returned to Russia. They accuse Pulatov along with two other Russians — Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy — as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko with organizing the deployment and firing of the Buk and its subsequent return to Russia. Moscow has always denied any involvement in the downing.

Pulatov said he had never asked for or been provided with a Buk.

“Even if I had been begging on my knees for Russia to provide us with a Buk missile system it would have never been granted to us,” he said in the interview played in court. The interview was conducted in Russian and translated by an interpreter present during the interview.

The interview was broadcast in court at a preliminary stage in the trial in absentia of the four suspects as defense lawyers began outlining what further investigations they want in the case ahead of hearings next year.

Similar: MH17 Suspect Denies Seeing Deadly Missile - The Moscow Times

Defendant In MH17 Case Dubinsky Says Ready To Take Polygraph Test In Russia - UrduPoint
MAJOR: Dutch State Journalists Tried to Bribe a Russian Man to Admit he Shot Down MH17 Over Eastern Ukraine in 2014 (VIDEO) - Fort Russ

Dutch coverage:
MH17-verdachte ontkent en spreekt van 'opzettelijke misleiding' in tapgesprekken
MH17-verdachte Poelatov ontkent betrokkenheid bij ramp in videoboodschap


The Living Force
NOTE: as far as I've been able to ascertain, neither Dutch media nor international ones have covered the mh17 trial sessions after November 3 wherein the defense lawyers stated their additional research wishes and commented on the prosecution's dossiers -- which makes today's news items all the more remarkable, I think.

Source (Dutch only): OM fluit MH17-verdachte Oleg Poelatov terug

Prosecutors whistle back MH17 suspect Oleg Poulatov

By Paul Eldering - 1 hour ago in INTERIOR

SCHIPHOL - The Public Prosecutor makes mincemeat of the hundreds of investigative wishes of the lawyers of the Russian suspect Oleg Poulatov in the MH17 sample trial. This continues in the Schiphol Court for the ninth month. "Motivation is lacking on all sides," the Public Prosecutor believes.

Would it be up to prosecutors Ward Ferdinandusse, Thijs Berger and Manon Ridderbeks, Court President Hendrik Steenhuis shall dismiss almost all requests of the defense for further interrogation of witnesses, experts and reporters. At the end of this month the court will come to a decision, after which the substantive hearing could start somewhere in the early spring of 2021.

The criminal case against four possible co-accused persons from Russia and Ukraine for the mass murder of 298 passengers on passenger flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 over war zone of Eastern Ukraine may still take years. The Boeing 777 full of vacationers was shot out of the sky with a Russian BUK missile. It also killed 196 Dutch people. Only Poulatov is legally assisted from a distance.

According to the Public Prosecution Service, his requests to question those involved and the investigators are generally not well-founded, submitted too late, unnecessary, impractical, not relevant to the trial or not in the interest of this suspect. "They seem to be an advance on the plea. That is not the objective", according to the officers in a detailed argument on Thursday.

Next of kin react with relief. Some were quite upset last week by all the questions that Poulatov lawyers Sabine ten Doesschate and Boudewijn van Eijck raised about the criminal investigation. It doesn't have to be done again, does it? No, according to the prosecutors. "It is done with care and integrity. We, too, do not want the trial to be delayed."

More concrete

However, the defense insists on a fair trial in which Poulatov is given all legal possibilities to argue his case. Nevertheless, the prosecutors feel that his lawyers need to become much more concrete and specific as to why further investigation is necessary on certain points. "Shooting with pellets makes little sense. That only causes unrest", says chairman Piet Ploeg of Foundation Vliegramp MH17.

"The defense should not behave like Sherlock Holmes or as a spokesman for the United Nations. She is not an MH17 truth-finder and should confine herself to the direct interests of her client in this case," Berger said.

Ridderbeks was also clear: "Additional forensic investigation is pointless". According to Ferdinandusse, this also applies to additional witness hearings. "That does not have to be done according to existing jurisprudence. Nobody is waiting for repetition".

Translated with (free version)

Source: Bellingcat: Dutch MH17 journalist is connected to Russian military -
(direct links to Bellingcat have been disabled)

Bellingcat: Dutch MH17 journalist is connected to Russian military

November 12, 2020

Investigative journalism website Bellingcat has published claims that a Dutch journalist who writes about the MH17 disaster for a conspiracy theorist website has links to the Russian intelligence service.

Leaked emails show that Bonanza Media had frequent contact with a senior Russian military official and sent articles to the Russian military intelligence service GRU before publishing them, Bellingcat said.

Bonanza Media, which describes itself as a platform for independent journalists, was founded in 2019 by ex-Russia Today journalist Yana Yerlashova who brought Dutch blogger Max van der Werff on board to write about the downing of flight MH17.

The media outlet has published a number of MH17 conspiracy theories since its inception, claiming the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet or by a Ukrainian BUK missile.

The trial of four men who allegedly supplied the BUK missile used to shoot down the passenger aircraft over eastern Ukraine in 2014, is currently underway. The prosecution alleges that the men were Russian separatists who thought the airplane was a military aircraft, based on the conclusions from the Joint Investigation Team.

According to Bellingcat, Yerlashova averaged two phone calls a day to the GRU. In February, she sent the Russian official a draft of a text intended to be used as promotional material for Bonanza Media’s MH17 documentary.

‘Take a look at the text for Theo’s promotion, plz 🙂 If everything’s okay, he’ll send it out and make an event on social media with the same text,’ she writes.

In another example, Bellingcat shows the changes made to an article by ex- Elsevier journalist Eric van de Beek, who is now a writer at Bonanza and the conspiracy magazine De Andere Krant [The other Newspaper].

The agency also arranged for both Yerlashova and Van der Werff to travel to the difficult-to-access region of Ukraine where the plane was shot down and gave them access to pro-Russian fighters.


‘It illustrates how important information is in modern warfare, especially when it comes to Russia and Ukraine,’ said Marieke de Hoon, assistant professor of international law at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, who has been following the MH17 case. ‘Information is part of the battle,’ she told the De Groene Amsterdammer [in Dutch], which worked with Bellingcat on the story.

Bonanza Media, Yerlashova, Van der Werff and Van de Beek have all denied the allegations. In a long thread on Twitter, Van de Beek calls Bellingcat a propaganda outlet and said his articles went through a normal editing process with Yerlashova. Van der Werff said in his own Twitter thread that he declined to respond when Bellingcat asked him for comment and complained the organization had blocked him on Twitter.

Bonanza Media replied, presumably via Yerlashova, on its own Twitter account.

Wow. It made my day😂 I must say @bellingcat u r skilled fiction writers. So much criminal action and imagination put just to divert people’s attention from real thing – content of our work. Is the #MH17 truth that dangerous for your bosses? Don’t bother, I know the answer. Yana — Bonanza Media (@bonanzamedia2) November 12, 2020

The MH17 trial resumed today, with the prosecution arguing against a series of further investigation requests from the defense. ‘From day one, whenever possible, we’ve taken every opportunity to assist the defense,’ public prosecutor Thijs Berger told the court. ‘The defense simply seems to be raising points which have no substance.’

Bellingcat says the unmasking of Bonanza Media is important because the defense team of Oleg Poulatov – the only legally represented suspect in the ongoing criminal trial – has already introduced evidence provided by Bonanza Media, and has requested witness testimony by a key member of the project.

Similar: English platform linked to Russian Military, MH17 disinformation campaign: Report

In Dutch: Bellingcat: Nederlandse MH17-blogger wordt aangestuurd vanuit Rusland

Bellingcat source:


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Rechtszaak MH17 hopelijk begin volgend jaar inhoudelijk van start

NOS News - Interior - today, 15:29 - Modified today, 17:08

Court case MH17 will hopefully start in substance at the beginning of next year

The District Court of The Hague hopes that the substantive proceedings of the MH17 trial can start on 1 February next year. The court aims for this date, but in the coming months a number of witnesses still need to be heard by the examining magistrate and further investigation is needed into the reliability of footage and tap interviews.

The lawyers of defendant Oleg Pulatov have formulated approximately 280 investigative wishes in the now concluded direction phase of the trial. These requests concerned the question whether flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK rocket, whether the rocket was fired from an agricultural field in a separatist area and whether suspect Pulatov was involved in the shooting down of MH17.

Army unit

The court allows a number of witnesses proposed by the defense to be heard. Among them is the commander of the Russian 53rd Brigade in Kursk, the army unit with BUK missiles. Hearing these witnesses has already been tried before, but the request was then rejected by Russia. Now that it is being asked by the lawyers, it may be different, the court considers.

Eavesdropped calls

Also fellow suspect Sergey Dubinsky may be approached for questioning, among other things about the participation of Pulatov in certain overheard conversations about the downing of flight MH17. A linguistic expert must determine whether it is indeed Pulatov who can be heard in the calls.

Pulatov has previously offered to answer questions of the court in writing, but the court does not support this. "The accused is again invited to answer the questions in public in court. We will not deviate from that," said the judge.

Fighter planes

The majority of research wishes have been rejected. For example, alternative scenarios, such as the alleged involvement of fighter planes, will not be considered. The defense wanted that. The court believes that the international Joint Investigation Team has already done enough of this and that the findings have been included in the criminal file in sufficient detail. Requests to be able to hear the authors of some of the partial reports have also been rejected because the reports speak for themselves.

The trial will continue on February 1 at 10.00 am. In an explanation the press judge said that it is not sure whether the substantive proceedings can really start then. "When it comes to investigations that have to do with another country, you depend on the way things are going. We all hope, and so does the court, that it can start on February 1, but that's pretty challenging".

Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines was brought down over Eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014 by a Russian-derived BUK missile. A fierce war between Russian separatists and Ukranian government forces was raging in Eastern Ukraine at the time. Flight MH17 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and had 298 people on board. Among them were 196 Dutch. All occupants died.

Translated with (free version)

Other coverage in Dutch:
Rechtbank wijst onderzoek naar alternatieve scenario's crash MH17 af
Nabestaande Ria blogt over het MH17-proces: 'Nou pap en mam… We houden vol'


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Inhoudelijke behandeling MH17-proces begint over half jaar

NOS News - Domestic - Abroad - today, 16:46

Substantive proceedings MH17 trial start in half a year

The court in The Hague expects to start with the substantive proceedings of the MH17 process at the beginning of June. At the end of last month, the court expressed the hope to start on February 1 but that will not be achieved.

A press release [in Dutch] now states that the date has been set for June 7. The court has been informed about the investigation of the examining magistrate and "based on this information" a preliminary planning has been made.

The next session in the trial is still on February 1. Then, among other things, the state of affairs in that investigation will be discussed and it will also deal with the Public Prosecutor's Office's request for a viewing.
The Public Prosecutor wants the court to see the reconstructed debris of the aircraft at Gilze-Rijen Air Base with its own eyes. A final decision will be taken in April, after which the judges will possibly examine the debris in May.

Next of kin of the victims will probably be able to exercise their right to speak after the summer. How long the whole trial will take is still unclear, let alone when a verdict will be passed. The criminal trial started last March with several preparatory sessions.

280 investigation wishes

The public prosecutor suspects three Russians and one Ukrainian of being involved in the disaster. Only the Russian suspect Oleg Poulatov is being represented by lawyers. They have formulated about 280 investigative wishes in the now closed stage of the trial. These were about the questions whether flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK rocket, whether the rocket was fired from an agricultural field in separatist territory and whether Poulatov was involved in the shooting down of the MH17.

The other three suspects - Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Leonid Khartshenko - did not communicate anything to the court.

Translated with (free version)

Similar coverage: Rechtbank begint 7 juni met inhoudelijke behandeling MH17-proces


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Een van de meest tragische momenten de ramp met de MH17 krijgt een film

General - 22.12.2020
One of the most tragic moments: The disaster with the MH17 becomes a movie

One of the most tragic moments in recent Dutch history will be portrayed in an international feature film

By Zilko Tarici at 14:24 in General

Today it has been announced that a Dutch production company has acquired the rights to the book Mooi doodliggen (Lying Dead Beautifully) by author A.F. Th. van der Heijden. The book is about the tragic disaster with airplane MH17 and will now be filmed.

Director Rolf van Eijk gave the following statement about the filming:

"We take the book as our point of departure, but deepen the story in more detail. We want the story to play out more in reality in order to be able to bring it more effectively to the Dutch people".

Van Eijk will direct the as yet untitled film and he wrote the script together with Roelof Jan Minneboo.

Lying dead beautifully

The aforementioned book by Van der Heijden is about Grigori Murashko, a Russian journalist who was shot dead in Kiev as a result of his investigation into the MH17 disaster. Although this portion of the story is fictional, it is loosely based on the 'murder' of the Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko in 2017. That murder seemed to have been staged later on.

By the way, Van Eijk's film is meant for the Dutch people, but the makers hope to sell the film internationally as well. That's why English will mainly be spoken in the film, but Russian, Ukrainian and partly Dutch will also be spoken. It will also take some time before the film is released, because the makers are aiming for a release in 2024, exactly 10 years after the MH17 disaster.

Translated with (free version)

Additional sources:
A. F. Th. van der Heijden - Wikipedia

A.F.Th. van der Heijden - Wikipedia
A.F.Th.: klassiek én actueel


The Living Force
Today SOTT carries an RT article (Thu, 21 Jan 2021 15:48 UTC) with interesting materials about Ward Ferdinandusse, one of the lead prosecutors in the MH17 trial.

It appears he was the main driving force in a ploy to arrest Julio Poch - a Dutch-Argentinian pilot with the country's Transavia airline - in Spain and then extradite him to Argentina on charges of involvement with the notorious 'death flights' in the 1970s and 1980s carried out by the Argentinian military junta, during which dissidents were drugged and thrown out of planes into Rio de la Plata river and the Atlantic Ocean. After eight years in jail awaiting trial, he was finally acquitted by an Argentinian court in 2017 for lack of evidence. He has since returned to the Netherlands and is suing the Dutch government for damages.

Dutch lead prosecutor on MH17 team plotted arrest & extradition of innocent man to Argentina in 2009 --


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Verdediging MH17-proces: laat alle wrakstukken zien

NOS News - Domestic - today, 14:25

Defense MH17 trial: show all wreckage


The reconstructed plane
- Image: Edo Tams/BLNDR

The defense in the MH17 trial wants to know if the prosecution is withholding important wreckage from the downed plane. This became apparent today during an interim hearing in the case, in the extra secure court at Schiphol Airport.

The lawyers of suspect Oleg Poulatov are allowed to look at the wreckage with their own expert. They want to investigate whether flight MH17 could have been shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet, rather than by a Russian BUK missile.

All relevant wreckage has been used for the reconstruction and is located at Gilze-Rijen Air Base, the prosecution says. The defense showed surprise today that there are still 18 containers with wreckage in Soesterberg. Photos show that these may include parts with impact damage.

"We have an interest in seeing and investigating all available wreckage that could say something about the cause of the crash," said attorney Sabine ten Doesschate. She therefore called for all aircraft parts "with relevant damage" to be shown, not only for the defense but also if the court still wants to look at Gilze-Rijen itself. "Otherwise, it may be a distorted picture, namely only the picture that fits into the scenario of the prosecution."

Missile parts

The Prosecutor's Office does not consider it necessary to make additional pieces of the MH17 plane available for investigation. The complete front of the plane, containing hundreds of small and large holes, has been reconstructed.

"The wreckage parts that give the most information have been used," said prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse. "Even if it had been a weapon other than a BUK missile, the reconstruction would show that. Other wreckage can no longer add or detract anything relevant to the findings."

The prosecution emphasized that the lawyers can also look at the missile parts found in the plane. Those remains also fit a BUK missile, according to the prosecution. Whether the court itself will also look at the wreckage has not yet been determined.


In the MH17 proceedings, three Russians and a Ukrainian are on trial for the downing of the passenger plane in 2014. In the process, 298 people were killed. Most of the victims were Dutch.

Of the four defendants, only Poulatov is represented by lawyers. He denies having anything to do with the downing of the plane and says he was also not involved in the transport of the BUK missile that allegedly shot it down.

At the time, Poulatov was deputy commander of a reconnaissance and espionage unit of the Eastern Ukrainian rebels. They were fighting for independence in the area where flight MH17 crashed. The other defendants also held military positions.

The court expects to hear the substance of the case from June, even if the suspects themselves are not present. Until then, a number of witnesses will be heard and additional research into visual material is also underway.

Translated with (free version)

Similar coverage (in Dutch): Verdediging in zaak-MH17 wil toegang tot alle wrakstukken


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Rechtbank bereidt schouw MH17-wrakstukken voor

NOS News - Domestic - Today, 15:54
Court prepares viewing of MH17 wreckage

The court orders preparations to be made for a viewing of the MH17 wreckage. Part of the plane has been reconstructed at Gilze-Rijen Air Base.

If the judges go there to see for themselves, they also want to see some specific wreckage that is not part of the reconstruction. "But they do seem to be part of the discussion about the firing area," the court said today.

A week ago, the defense in the MH17 trial questioned whether the prosecution had compiled all relevant wreckage. The prosecution says it has, and believes that all damage points to the impact of a Russian BUK missile. That would have been fired from a field in eastern Ukraine. The lawyers question this.

Whether the court will actually look at the wreckage of flight MH17 will be decided later, but to be on the safe side the court wants to set a date in May.


The Dutch Safety Board (Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid, OVV) must also check whether there are any additional photos of wreckage that could be made available to the defense. The council conducted extensive research into the crash of the passenger plane and also has photos of parts that could not be brought back to the Netherlands. Incidentally, the OVV already concluded that the plane was shot down with a BUK missile.

The Malaysia Airlines plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and crashed over eastern Ukraine in 2014. At the time, there was fighting going on there between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists. The disaster killed 298 people, most of them Dutch. Currently, four men are on trial who are alleged to have had a role in the shooting down of MH17.

Translated with (free version)
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