By Eric Zuesse
The Dutch Government began on March 9th a show-trial which will present the Government’s evidence that a Russian-made Buk missile on 17 July 2014 brought down the Malaysian airliner MH17 which had 196 Dutch passengers, all of whom were killed. America’s Radio Free Europe (which still continues even though Russia ended its side of the Cold War in 1991 and is now non-communist and an electoral democracy though the U.S. Government denies that and still seeks regime-change in Russia) reported on the opening day of the trial, that “The trial is expected to last through most of 2020.” On the following day, the judge suspended the trial until March 23rd. Both sides in the case were still gathering evidence. The prosecution told the judge on March 10th, “we will inform you about some of the latest investigative actions that have yet to be completed and we will consider the possibility that new information will emerge from other sources during this process.”
This is a highly political trial because the U.S. and Dutch Governments had both helped to install an anti-Russian Ukrainian Government by overthrowing in February 2014 Ukraine’s democratically elected neutralist President, soon after which both the Crimea and Donbass regions of Ukraine broke away from Ukraine, and the downing of the MH17 passenger plane occurred in the air over Donbass during the war there between the new Ukrainian Government and the residents of Donbass, whom that new Government were trying to conquer. Donbass is the region of Ukraine that had voted over 90% for the President whom the U.S. and Dutch Governments had just helped to overthrow. The Dutch Government, being allied with both the post-2014 Ukrainian Government and the U.S. Government, is prosecuting Russia as the culprit in that downing of a passenger plane which killed 298 individuals. However, the Russian Government — which the U.S. and its allies prohibited from partcipating in their ‘official’ ‘investigation’ into the aircraft’s downing — alleges that Ukraine’s Government shot it down.
From what has already been made public by the Dutch Government, even before the trial started, they have made clear that this trial will exclude from consideration a great deal of evidence, such as that on 7 August 2014, just weeks after the MH17 downing, a secret agreement was drawn up between four U.S. allies to serve together as constituting an official “Joint Investigation Team” about the event, the terms of which agreement have not been made public even to the present day. As I reported back on 24 August 2014, a secret agreement had been signed on August 8th between Netherlands, Ukraine, Belgium, and Australia, that Ukraine would have veto-power over any finding that their official “Joint Investigation Team” (“JIT”) would issue regarding the shoot-down of the MH17. Malaysia was excluded from the Team, but was finally admitted, after agreeing to their secret terms — including not to blame Ukraine. Russia’s RT headlined on 20 November 2014 “Dutch government refuses to reveal ‘secret deal’ into MH17 crash probe” and revealed that the Dutch Government was refusing to comply with its own Freedom of Information law by keeping this agreement secret. On 14 June 2016, the website “What Happened to Flight MH17” headlined “The vague role of Malaysia in the Joint Investigation Team” and reported that the JIT had actually been officially formed on 7 August 2014, and noted that, “In the limited number of public communications by JIT it is not mentioned what the role of Malaysia is in the criminal investigation.” (Malaysia, unlike those other four nations, isn’t a member of America’s core anti-Russia alliance, which includes NATO and Australia, but is instead a neutral nation and therefore considered untrustworthy by the others.)
Since when does the prime suspect in a murder, here a mass-murder, that suspect being Ukraine itself, get a seat on the jury to judge the prosecution’s case against another — and far less likely — suspect: in this case, Russia?
The last announcement from the official investigation, the Netherlands-headed “Joint Investigative Team” (JIT), was on 24 May 2018, and it headlined “Update in criminal investigation MH17 disaster”. It said:
The JIT is convinced that the BUK-TELAR [missile and launcher] that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. … This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones. The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014.
Consequently, the JIT presumes that within the 53rd brigade and within the circle around it, people have knowledge about the operation in which that particular BUK-TELAR was deployed. … Already in September 2016, the JIT disclosed that MH17 was downed with a BUK missile of the 9M38 series. …
The missile engine’s casing shows the number 9 д 1318869032. …
Four months later, on 17 September 2018, the Russian Ministry of Defense youtubed its response, which is titled “Briefing on newly discovered evidence pertaining to the crash of the MH17 flight”. It presented the actual history of the Buk missile and launcher which Ukraine and the other Governments on the JIT said had brought down the MH17. (The JIT includes four countries, Netherlands, Ukraine, Belgium, and Australia, with a fifth, Malaysia, having been brought in only later, after it finally agreed to allow Ukraine a veto over any conclusions that the team will publish. Malaysia’s participation started on 4 December 2014; but whether Malaysia has actually been allowed to play a role in the ‘investigation’ isn’t clear.) Russia’s Government documented there that four serial numbers which were printed onto the missile-fragments that the U.S.-allied team had presented to the public on May 24th — 8868720, 1318869032, 886847379 and 9M38 — were all from a Buk missile that, though manufactured in Russia, had been transferred to Ukraine in 1986, and was never thereafter in Russia nor in the possession of the Russian Government. It stayed in Ukraine. As you can see there by clicking on each, and especially onto the “Briefing” itself, this missile and its launcher had always, and constantly since their transfer to Ukraine in 1986, remained in Ukraine, and never again were located in Russia. So: if the JIT’s supplied evidence is authentic — which the Ukrainian team asserts it to be — then it outright convicts Ukraine. This is an evidentiary checkmate, against the Ukrainian side.
And yet still the Dutch Government ignores the detailed documentary evidence from Russia regarding the service-history and ownership of that missile starting with the time of its manufacture and extending up to the present, which show that since 1986 it was owned by the Ukrainian Air Force.
They have to ignore it, because their ‘case’ is built upon those missile fragments. (However, they’ve never yet put forth any reason to believe that those fragments come from a missile or launcher that was actually involved with bringing down the MH17.) If those fragments are from equipment that since 1986 has been in Ukraine’s military, then the Dutch Government’s ‘case’ is entirely fake.
Furthermore, throughout, the Dutch Government has refused to consider both witness and other, more direct physical, evidence indicating that definitely the MH17 had bullet-holes in it (and here that is closer-up), especially around the pilot’s cabin (suggesting that he was specifically targeted), and that at least one and perhaps two Ukrainian military jet planes had flown up to the airliner right before it came hurtling down from the sky. All of that evidence was refused by the Dutch ‘investigators’.
Furthermore discrediting the Dutch prosecution’s case and ignored by them are several reports from the great American investigative journalist John Helmer who has reported from Moscow for decades. One, on 13 September 2015, opened:
The Dutch Government has decided to launch a missile attack on Moscow in October. By suppressing all evidence obtained from the bodies of victims of the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17, officials of the Dutch Safety Board and associated Dutch military officers, police and prosecutors are preparing to release a report on the crash with a gaping hole in its veracity.
At the same time, and apparently unknown in The Netherlands, an Australian coroners’ report on the identification and forensic testing of the bodies carried out in The Netherlands reveals post-mortem evidence to show that in their public statements the Dutch government officials have been lying about metal evidence they claim to have found. This evidence has not only been buried with the passengers’ remains. It has been buried by the Dutch Government and by coroners in the UK and Australia, who are now legally required to investigate independently what caused the deaths of citizens in their jurisdiction. All are withholding the CT scans, X-rays, autopsy and other post-mortem results, including metallurgical assays, the documentation of which accompanied the coffins of the aircraft’s victims from The Netherlands to their homelands.
More recently, there is this from him:
“MH17 Evidence Tampering Revealed by Malaysia – FBI Attempt to Seize Black Boxes; Dutch Cover-Up of Forged Telephone Tapes; Ukrainian Air Force Hid Radar Records; Crash Site Witness Testimony Misreported”
John Helmer, 21 July 2019
A new documentary from Max van der Werff, the leading independent investigator of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, has revealed breakthrough evidence of tampering and forging of prosecution materials; suppression of Ukrainian Air Force radar tapes; and lying by the Dutch, Ukrainian, US and Australian governments. An attempt by agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to take possession of the black boxes of the downed aircraft is also revealed by a Malaysian National Security Council official for the first time.
The sources of the breakthrough are Malaysian — Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohamad Mahathir; Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the officer in charge of the MH17 investigation for the Prime Minister’s Department and Malaysia’s National Security Council following the crash on July 17, 2014; and a forensic analysis by Malaysia’s OG IT Forensic Services of Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) telephone tapes which Dutch prosecutors have announced as genuine.
Watch it in full here. …
The film reveals the Malaysian Government’s evidence for judging the [Joint Investigative Team] JIT’s witness testimony, photographs, video clips, and telephone tapes to have been manipulated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), and to be inadmissible in a criminal prosecution in a Malaysian or other national or international court.
For the first time also, the Malaysian Government reveals how it got in the way of attempts the US was organizing during the first week after the crash to launch a NATO military attack on eastern Ukraine. The cover story for that was to rescue the plane, passenger bodies, and evidence of what had caused the crash. In fact, the operation was aimed at defeating the separatist movements in the Donbass, and to move against Russian-held Crimea.
The new film reveals that a secret Malaysian military operation took custody of the MH17 black boxes on July 22, preventing the US and Ukraine from seizing them. The Malaysian operation, revealed in the film by the Malaysian Army colonel who led it, eliminated the evidence for the camouflage story, reinforcing the German Government’s opposition to the armed attack, and forcing the Dutch to call off the invasion on July 27.
Although German opposition to military intervention forced its cancellation, the Australians sent a 200-man special forces unit to The Netherlands and then Kiev.
The new film reveals in an interview with Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the head of the Malaysian team, what happened next. Sakri’s evidence, filmed in his office at Putrajaya, is the first to be reported by the press outside Malaysia in five years. A year ago, Sakri gave a partial account of his mission to a Malaysian newspaper.
“I talked to my prime minister [Najib],” Colonel Sakri says. “He directed me to go to the crash site immediately.” At the time Sakri was a senior security official at the Disaster Management Division of the Prime Minister’s Department. Sakri says that after arriving in Kiev, Poroshenko’s officials blocked the Malaysians. “We were not allowed to go there…so I took a small team to leave Kiev going to Donetsk secretly.”
Sakri goes on to say he was asked by the [nominally nonpartisan] OSCE’s special monitoring mission for Ukraine to hand over the black boxes; he refused. He was then met by agents of the FBI (Min 6:56). “They approached me to show them the black box. I said no.” He also reports that in Kiev the Ukrainian Government tried “forcing me to leave the black boxes with them. We said no. We cannot. We cannot allow.”
Photo: The handover ceremony in Donetsk, July 22, 2014: on far left, the two black boxes from MH17; in the centre, shaking hands, Alexander Borodai and Mohamad Sakri.
Van der Werff and Yerlashova contracted with OG IT Forensic Services, a Malaysian firm specializing in forensic analysis of audio, video and digital materials for court proceedings, to examine the telephone tapes. The Kuala Lumpur firm has been endorsed by the Malaysian Bar. The full 143-page technical report can be read here.
The findings reported by Akash Rosen and illustrated on camera are that the telephone recordings have been cut, edited and fabricated. The source of the tapes, according to the JIT press conference on June 19 by Dutch police officer Paulissen, head of the National Criminal Investigation Service of The Netherlands, was the Ukrainian SBU. Similar findings of tape fabrication and evidence tampering are reported on camera in the van der Werff film by a German analyst, Norman Ritter.
And more recently, as I wrote on March 8th at Strategic Culture (likewise summarizing Helmer’s lengthy report on the matter):
“Bonanza Leaks” on 24 February 2020 shows photos of the official transcriptions of the witnesses’ testimony to the official Joint Investigative Team (JIT) which the U.S-allied Dutch Government operates in order to convict Russia for the shoot-down of the MH17 Malaysian airliner on 17 July 2014 above the civil-war zone in Ukraine. It includes an accompanying video presentation of these documents, from a day earlier, on February 23rd, titled “Bonanza Media LeaksTalk”. That video includes this: “Australian police confirm that these are authentic documents” (in response to Bonanza Media’s having supplied Australian police with the photos), and “these are original documents,” which their video shows. Then, they showed their documents to the JIT’s own office in Netherlands, which refused to comment. One document, from the Director of the Military Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands, to the public prosecutor of the National Prosecutor’s Office on Counter Terrorism, P.O. Box 395, 3000 AJ Rotterdam, dated 21 September 2016, opens (this being the official Dutch translation, but the original Dutch being also shown), “Herewith, I am informing, pursuant to Section 38 of the Intelligence and Security Services Act 2002, of data that is possibly of importance for the criminal investigation into the crashing of flight MH17.” After stating the evidence they had accumulated from witnesses and from allied-Government intelligence agencies, this document closes: “On this basis MIVD [Dutch military intelligence agency] draws the conclusion that from these two Russian ground based air systems near Rostov na Dona [the only two Russian bases that possibly would have been associated with the shoot-down of the MH17] no missile launch took place on 17 July 2014.” More information about the Bonanza Leaks disclosures can be found from the investigative journalist John Helmer in Moscow, headlining on February 25th, “NATO Military Intelligence Agencies Repeatedly Reported in Secret There Was No Evidence of a Russian Buk Missile in Eastern Ukraine or Firing on MH17”.
Was there any missile-launch, or did the MH17 get downed ONLY by the cannonfire from one or two Ukrainian military planes? (You can see here, here, here, and here, witness and other testimony backing up that account. Some of the physical evidence for it is shown here.) On 13 October 2015, the BBC reported that, the Russian side disputed the Dutch findings insisting that only older warheads and missiles of the 9M38 type still in the hands of the Ukrainian army could have been used as they were the only weapons with ‘butterfly or bow-tie’ fragments. The Russian army had phased them out. ‘The 9M38M1 missile has no H-shaped striking elements,’ Yan Novikov, the head of Buk missile company Almaz-Antey said.
In their submission to the Dutch report, the Russian experts argue that investigators should not have discounted other potential reasons for plane’s destruction, such as an air-to-air rocket. This is completely rejected by the Dutch Safety Board.
Bullet-holes are clear in the physical evidence, but holes that could have come from a missile’s shrapnel are not so unambiguously indicated. Back on 5 August 2015, I headlined at Global Research, “The MH17 Pilot’s Corpse: More on the Cover-Up — Even His Family Was Blocked from It. Here’s Why.” It was the same reason why the coroners’ reports and the black box contents have also been muzzled and hidden: The Dutch Government is obviously lying through its teeth.
On March 9th, Asia Times bannered “Is Malaysia’s position on MH17 tragedy shifting?” and reported that, just as the trial was starting, there had been a change of Prime Ministers in Malaysia, and that the “newly-appointed government requested the colonel not to address the gathering.” That “colonel” happens to be the person who had secretly retrieved the black box immediately after the 17 July 2014 downing, and he was going to talk publicly about what it contained. There are a lot of secrets, and this trial in the Netherlands is to be yet another show-trial in a ‘democracy’.
Regarding the motive for the crime, here is what I had said on 7 October 2019 under the headline “Update on the MH17 Case”: “I knew that U.S. President Barack Obama had become desperate for something to happen that would persuade German Chancellor Angela Merkel to endorse added sanctions against Russia regarding Ukraine, but I had had no idea, until now, as to what direct involvement, if any, he had had in the actual setting-up of the MH17 shoot-down.” Obama was desperate because if he couldn’t cook up a ‘Russian’ provocation fast, then the window of opportunity to get the EU onboard with America’s hiked anti-Russian sanctions over ‘Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’ would soon be gone. He told Poroshenko to get it done, and fast. (Incidentally: the Netherlands Government was, along with the U.S. Government and George Soros, one of the top three funders behind Ukraine’s main TV station, Hromadske TV, propagandizing for ethnic cleansing to get rid of the residents in Ukraine’s far east where the democratically elected President whom Obama’s coup in Ukraine had overthrown had received over 90% of the people’s votes. So, the Dutch Government were in this from the get-go, along with Obama. These people were ‘progressive’ — as a PR term, anyway, to fool the liberal gulls. They can more honestly be called “liberal fascists.” That’s somewhere, perhaps a millimeter, to the left of extremely fascist. After all, ethnic cleansing, and mass-murder that’s set up so as to be blamed on persons whom the planner knows had nothing to do with it, is pretty far to the right.)
* Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.