On June 19th, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the 2014 crash of the Malaysia Airlines-operated Boeing MH17 in Ukraine held a press conference.
The anniversary of the crash is nearing, so it was really no surprise that another conference took place, this time directly accusing Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for the deaths of the people on board.
The entire press conference can be found here:
Most notably, the JIT announced names of the four suspects who are to be tried for murder:
- Igor Strelkov – 2nd Minister of Defense of the DPR, commander of the Slavyansk garrison;
- Sergey Dubinsky – founder and head of the DPR’s security service between 2014-2015;
- Oleg Pulatov – commander of one of Dubinsky’s reconnaissance subordinates;
- Leonid Kharchenko – commandant of Konstantinovka during the battle for the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration, later headed the DPR Intelligence Directorate.
“These suspects are seen to have played an important role in the death of 298 innocent civilians”, said Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke.
“Although they did not push the button themselves, we suspect them of close co-operation to get the [missile launcher] where it was, with the aim to shoot down an aeroplane.”
Investigators, he added, had “evidence showing that Russia provided the missile launcher”.
Essentially, there was nothing new, the same old accusations. The campaign is on-going, Russia and the DPR were found guilty by mainstream media and Western diplomats a long time ago and the JIT is currently attempting to construct the narrative surrounding the guilty, rather than prove it.
Another interesting fact that the JIT’s announcement was almost a complete repeat of “open-source investigate website” Bellingcat’s claims.
The US, expectedly, immediately jumped on the bandwagon with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Russia to ensure that all the indicted individuals face justice.
“The United States welcomes the announcement today regarding the indictment of four individuals for their role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. This is an important milestone in the search for the truth, and we remain confident in the professionalism and ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to prosecute those responsible in a manner that is fair and just. We fully support the work of the Dutch authorities and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), an independent criminal investigation led by the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement in response to the JIT briefing, categorically rejecting it.
“The statements made by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) at a news conference on June 19 about the alleged involvement of Russian servicemen in the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash were utterly regrettable. The Russian Federation once again finds itself the target of completely unfounded accusations intended to discredit it in the eyes of the international community.”
The JIT further accused Russia of refusing to fully cooperate, which is also contrary to the truth. All findings that Russia presented to the JIT in their various press conference since 2014 until now have been completely disregarded.
“Moreover, the JIT representatives accuse Russia of withholding full cooperation. We categorically deny such accusations. From the very first day of the tragedy, Russia has been vitally interested in finding the truth and willing to help the investigation in every respect. Russia actively cooperated with the Netherlands and presented all information it had on the MH17 crash. In the process, Russia’s relevant agencies carried out an enormous amount of unprecedented work: from declassifying information on Russian military equipment and conducting a meticulous experiment in collaboration with Almaz-Antei, to providing primary radar data and documents showing that the missile that downed the Malaysian Boeing belonged to Ukraine, as well as precision expert analysis proving that the video clips supporting the JIT’s conclusions were fabricated.
Moreover, Russia has suggested working together from the outset. Instead, international investigators excluded Russia from full participation in the JIT, reducing Russian efforts to a secondary role. Meanwhile, they made Ukraine a full participant in the JIT, giving it an opportunity to falsify evidence and completely evade responsibility for failing to close its air space.”
It is showing that even the Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejected on May 30 the JIT’s claims and accusations asking for any evidence at all to substantiate the claims just recently.
Once more, on June 20th he described the JIT’s conclusion a “political plot against Russia.”
“We are very unhappy. From the very beginning, it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing.
“Even before they examined the case, they have already claimed it (the shooting down of MH17) was done by Russia,” said Dr Mahathir to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Department Hari Raya celebration event here.
He said that the “findings” were quite unconvincing.
“As far as we are concerned, we want proof of guilt (that Russia did it). But so far, there is no proof, only hearsay.
“This is a ridiculous thing. Someone shoots a gun and you are not able to see who, but you know who shot,” said Dr Mahathir.
Regardless, the very strained relationship between the JIT-provided suspects alleged in orchestrating the MH17 downing was and is no secret. The claims that Strelkov, Bezler and others were closely cooperating are rather absurd. They very obviously hardly ever had a consensus on issues of defense of Donetsk against the Ukrainian Army advance, but somehow made a very elaborate plan to use a Buk missile and down a civilian airplane, then attempt to blame it on Ukraine.
Rather, the narrative of the US and the British special services continues, blatantly, unapologetically. The black box transcript is yet to be released to the public and seen, currently the only “evidence” presented are claims and accusations of who was guilty, disregarding any evidence provided by Russia and attempting to “investigate” just enough to make it fit the narrative of who is supposed to be guilty, rather than who really is.
Also, is it really a coincidence that the JIT’s briefing took place on the day before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Direct Line?
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- “Where Is the Evidence?”: Malaysian PM Slams MH17 Investigation As Not Impartial And Politically Motivated
- Secret Torture Sites, Assassinations, Political Fraud, MH17 Tragedy And Other Realities Of Modern Ukraine
- Eric Zuesse: “MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven”
- Ukraine, UK Claim Russian Press Briefing On MH17 Is Another Fake Story, Disinformation