A secret agreement
The Dutch Safety Board is investigating the accident to flight MH17 which occurred at Thursday 17th of July 2014 in the region of Donetsk (Ukraine).
Malaysia initially excluded
Malaysia has yet to be involved in the criminal investigation into the downing of Flight MH17, although Dutch-led workers have already started combing the crash site in Ukraine. Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib said Malaysia had not been invited to officially join the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is undertaking the criminal probe.
The country that owned the shot down MH17 jet, which was carrying a number of Malaysian citizens and was flown by a Malaysian crew, has been excluded from the criminal investigation due to its political neutrality, the nation's media reported.
Prime suspect Ukraine included
Dutch Pime Minister Mark Rutte with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and other JIT members at a meeting in New York, September 2015.
The Dutch-led investigation into the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 relies heavily on information provided by the Ukrainian security service and operates primarily from a field office in Kiev, despite the fact that Ukraine should be a principal suspect in the mystery of who was responsible for killing 298 people.
This is essentially what the JIT is — an investigation team into a possible crime, which includes one of the possible crime suspects on its committee. However, this is not the half of it. In addition to forming a part of the investigation team, this particular suspect — Ukraine — has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the other JIT members, meaning that they have the complete right of veto over what information is and isn't made public.
Investigators from the OSCE arrive at the crash site of the Malaysia Airline jet near the village of Hrabove.
A leader of the pro-Russia rebel fighters in Ukraine has said they will guarantee the safety of international monitors at the Malaysian plane's crash site if Kiev agrees to a truce.
Investigators say train being loaded with bodies will soon be moved as Ukraine launches offensive near Donetsk station.
Fighting was taking place too close to the MH17 crash site...
Government troops have stepped up their push to win back territory from pro-Russian separatists in fighting that the United Nations said Monday has killed more than 1,100 people in four months. The international delegation of Australian and Dutch police and forensic experts stopped Monday in Shakhtarsk, a town around 30 kilometres from the fields where the Boeing 777 was brought down. Sounds of regular shelling could be heard from Shakhtarsk and residents were seen fleeing town in cars.
National Post - International police team turns back from MH17 crash site as Ukrainian troops launch offensive (July 28, 2014)
Andriy Lysenko speaking at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, a western propaganda outlet
"All our troops are aiming to get there and liberate this territory so that we can guarantee that international experts can carry out a 100-percent investigation of the site and get all proof needed to deduce the real reason for this tragedy,'' said Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council.
What we do know is the Ukrainian military, basically, it offensive starting Monday against a number of towns on the road to the crash site are part of what have blocked Australian and Dutch investigators of being able to reach the crash site for four straight days. Before this offensive took place from the Ukrainian military, as recently as last Thursday, I could travel freely to the crash zone when it was firmly in control of the separatists.
Ivan Watson - CNN: Ukrainian Military Offensive Hampers MH 17 Crash Site Investigators (30 July 2014)
Here's what's blocking the investigators: the Ukrainian military announced yesterday, Chris, that it had launched an offensive to capture several key towns around the Malaysian air crash zones. ... The Ukrainian military ... deny that they have any presence on the crashsite, but then they give a kind of contradictory explanation, they say "no, we're not shooting near the disaster zone, we're just trying to capture it", which doesn't seem to add up logically.
Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks at a news conference at The Hague July 18, 2014.
The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ask government forces to stop fighting around the Malaysia Airlines crash site after experts were unable to get there for a third day running.
Colonel Mohamed Sakri, part of the Malaysian delegation, thanked "his excellency Mr Borodai" for agreeing to the transfer... While the rebels have been heavily criticised for blocking access to the crash site, it was the Ukrainian army that seemed to be disrupting expert work on Monday as they apparently launched an offensive against rebel positions close to Donetsk railway station, as well as in other towns across the region.
Guardian - Ukraine rebels hand over MH17 black boxes and let train carrying bodies leave (22 July 2014)
The Flight Data Recorder was slightly damaged but the memory module was intact. Furthermore, no evidence or indications of manipulation of the recorder was found. Following the examination, the data was successfully downloaded and the Flight Data Recorder contained valid data of the flight.
Another day, another Ukraine conspiracy disproved by fact.
ZeroHedge - Dutch Investigators End Another Ukraine Conspiracy: No Evidence Black Box Was Tampered With (24 July 2014)
Dutch PM Mark Rutte shakes hands with Petro Poroshenko at the NATO Warsaw summit in July 2016
Nederland heeft, naar nu bekend wordt, op 7 augustus een overeenkomst ondertekend met Australië, België en Oekraïne over het onderzoek naar de oorzaak van de vliegramp met MH17. Dat blijkt uit een Engelstalig persbericht namens de vier landen en de Europese justitie-organisatie Eurojust.
On 7 August 2014, following the coordination meeting held at Eurojust on 28 July, authorities from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine signed an agreement to set up a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Ivo Opstelten, Dutch Minister of Security and Justice
I believe that this interest [international relations] is of greater importance than making the information public, as it is a unique investigation into an extremely serious event. In case the documents would be published it is expected that the cooperation between concerned parties and international organizations will be hampered and that parties would be reluctant to share information. (translated from Dutch to English)
Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice - Ministerie weigert geheime deal MH17 openbaar te maken (19 November 2014)
On 8 August 2014 these four investigating nations signed an agreement that the results of the investigation would not be published unless all four countries agreed. This gave one of the prime suspects in the atrocity, Ukraine, an effective veto over any investigations result that attributed blame to them. This is an astonishing situation and probably without precedent in modern air crash investigations. More significantly however, is that the existence of this secret agreement was not announced by the Australian government, nor to the best of my knowledge has any report about the existence of the agreement or its extraordinary terms, been published in any mainstream publication.
Part of the agreement between the four countries and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, ensures that all these parties have the right to secrecy. This means that if any of the countries involved believe that some of the evidence may be damaging to them, they have the right to keep this secret.
The existence of the confidentiality agreement however, is very problematic. Especially if it contains, as sources seem to indicate, a veto right for all parties, including Ukraine.
Relatives of MH17 crash victims, angered by what they see as Dutch mishandling of inquiries into the disaster, want a special U.N. envoy to launch an international investigation.
In the criminal investigation, the countries involved in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) have entered into a partnership with the aim of uncovering the truth. They have agreed to work together and to exercise restraint with regard to the disclosure of information about the investigation. The government has no reason whatsoever to believe that the authorities in any of the countries affected is failing to honour these commitments. There is a great willingness to work together.
Rijksoverheid - Letter to the House of Representatives in response to questions about the MH17 air disaster
Dutch PM Mark Rutte
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday stressed the importance of a thorough, independent investigation of the shooting down of Flight MH17 before any decision on where those responsible should face trial.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte with Australian PM Tony Abbott
Abbott, who had previously threatened to "shirtfront" Putin over Russia's alleged role in the shooting down of the passenger plane over eastern Ukraine in July, emphasised the need for all countries to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolution 2166 and fully co-operate with the independent investigation.
Guardian - Tony Abbott tells Vladimir Putin to consider apology and compensation for MH17 (11 November 2014)
Dames en heren, laat 1 ding vanmiddag glashelder zijn. We willen de onderste steen boven krijgen. En als duidelijk wordt dat dit een aanslag was, dan zal ik mij er persoonlijk voor inzetten dat de daders worden opgespoord en hun gerechte straf krijgen. Eerder zullen wij niet rusten. Dat zijn wij de onschuldige slachtoffers en hun nabestaanden verplicht.
(Ladies and gentlemen, let me get one thing absolutely clear. We want the complete truth out. Blah blah...)
(Ladies and gentlemen, let me get one thing absolutely clear. We want the complete truth out. Blah blah...)
Once the investigation ascertains who was responsible for the downing of the flight MH17, accountability and justice must be pursued and delivered. We owe it to the victims, we owe it to justice, we owe it to humanity. Please, provide full cooperation so that justice can be served. We will not rest until all facts are known and justice is served. (text)
Maria Zakharova - JIT MH17 investigators allowed Ukraine to fabricate MH17 evidence
Moscow has denounced as 'biased' an investigation into the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Dr Laszlo Maracz, an assistant professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, told Radio Sputnik that the investigation team announcing their inability to decode the radar data provided by Russia months after Moscow provided the information does appear odd, to put it mildly. According to Maracz, this delay is related to the "one-sided thesis that has been put forward by the Joint Investigation Team from the beginning".