Will MH17 be our 9/11? (13). The Dutch government’s response to the Safety Board report

December 8 the Dutch government has responded to the MH17 report by the Dutch Safety Board. ‘The cabinet greatly appreciates the report’, it says. ‘Many questions that were being asked nationally and internationally, have been answered by the report.’ It cannot be that the government is referring to the question whether the plane was hit by a meteor, or whether the crew was in good health?

Why not simply admit that a number of questions has NOT been answered?

First of all, the fact that neither the American radar data (refused), nor the Ukrainian (the radar was switched off for maintenance; there is a war on, after all) were made available; from the Russians only the processed data, not the raw ones were provided.

The explosive information supplied by the German government to the Dutch Safety Board, concerning the AWACS data presented in the German parliament (a lighter missile than a Buk and an unidentified object close to MH17) were put aside and replaced by a statement of the NATO commander in Europe that these spy planes were not able to track the plane that distance and ‘perceived nothing’. (Incidentally, my earlier claim that the AWACS planes would have been able to spot the plane well beyond the Urals, was a calculation mistake; however, that does not in any way diminish the German information mentioned).

Whether the government’s satisfaction is warranted, is also questioned by the Dutch daily, De Telegraaf, of 15 December last. The paper points out that ‘the reliability of the proof in the MH17 investigation… has been made questionable because of the sinister role of the Ukrainian secret service SBU in corruption and criminal scandals.’

To cite the government’s response again: ‘The Ukrainian authorities immediately after the crash started an investigation.’ Indeed, the aforementioned SBU promptly confiscated the tapes containing the conversations of air traffic control with MH17, and it still keeps them safely.

However, in the Safety Board report there is nothing on this matter either.

Because of all these shortcomings in the report, the confidence expressed by the government in the third step of the entire process, that is, the criminal investigation (after salvage and repatriation, and the Dutch Safety Board’s report), is not warranted at all.

The ministers of Security and Justice (Van der Steur) and Foreign Affairs (Koenders) point out in the response that ‘it cannot be predicted with any certainty how long this [criminal] investigation is going to last… The aim is to make a joint decision about the format of the prosecution of the (potential) suspects as soon as possible and in close consultation with the countries involved in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) (besides the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine)’. ‘In close consultation…’ What is meant is that because of the veto power awarded to the regime in Kiev one of the potential suspects has a voice in deciding whom we are going to prosecute.

Christian Democratic MP Pieter Omtzigt has revealed himself as a true parliamentarian in the MH17 issue. He is cited by De Telegraaf as saying that the ‘SBU scandals constitute a bit risk for the criminal investigation in the MH17 case’.

There is already little evidence,’ Omtzigt declares in the paper. ‘What is available, is mildly to heavily compromised. The evidence materials were collected far too late in the area and now it turns out, by scoundrels’.

Even apart from the missing satellite and radar data of the Ukrainians, the Russians and the Americans, ‘it turns out there have not been any conversations with Ukrainian air traffic control.’

The Dutch government’s response provided by the two ministers mainly deals with the Satefy Board’s conclusions concerning the issue of flying over war zones. About the actual incident they are remarkably concise. ‘Many questions that were being asked nationally and internationally, have been answered by the report.’ Not the most important ones, unfortunately.

Kees van der Pijl

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