Just to understand what we have here…the JIT had than 102 investigators (but none from Russia), collected half a million videos and photographs (sourced from Twitter, vKontakte, and YouTube), gathered testimony from more than 200 witnesses (witnesses provided by Ukraine) and intercepted 150,000 phone calls (all courtesy of Ukrainian authorities).
And this was an impartial and conclusive investigation…because of course Ukraine is an impartial party to the events surrounding MH17? Or is it because social media has now been deemed reliable evidence in such cases?
More than 102 investigators / half a million videos and photographs / more than 200 witnesses / 150 000 intercepted phone calls
— Paula Slier (@PaulaSlier_RT) September 28, 2016
In summary, the JIT concluded that a BUK missile was behind the MH17 crash and that the BUK was brought into Ukraine from Russia. After the crash, the JIT claims that the BUK was then sent back to Russia.
The JIT concluded that the BUK was fired from the village of Pervomayskoye (Pervomaiskyi), held by rebel forces at the time of the incident…east of the approaching MH17.
The findings are “being backed by the US data, which evaluated that the launch site was located 6km south to Snezhnoye,” which at that time was controlled by rebel forces, the JIT says.
The US data is not being disclosed for verification.
BUK missiles are not simple little missiles. They require some heavy duty radar equipment to accompany some very large missiles system.
The spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry Major-General Igor Konashenkov asserts that…
“No Russian missile systems including ‘BUK’ have ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border.”
Dutch member of the investigation and JIT spokesman, Fred Westerbeke said his group is continuing to prepare “legal and convincing evidence meeting a very high standard”.
Twitter, YouTube, Ukraine secret services, and US secret radar evidence. That is what passes as “very high standards?”
A Dutch journalist questioned Westerbeke’s assertions during the presentation, for which Westerbeke had to acknowledged that…
- All telephone intercepts and wiretaps submitted as evidence of Russian involvement originated from the Ukrainian secret service.
- Evidence of the BUK movement, ground launch, and the smoke trail came from social media, photographs and videotapes found online.
- All witnesses have appeared publicly before in various video interviews, and reports. Most of the witnesses have been discredited as fake witnesses.
Analysts who witnessed the surreal presentation by the JIT have already noted that such secret Ukrainian and American evidence is not admissible in normal, functioning court rooms.
But in the MH17 case, where everything is being done to pin the blame on Russia, an Australian lead kangaroo court is highly likely.
Alexander Mercouris noted on The Duran…
The first point to make about the investigation that published these findings on Wednesday is that its instigator is Ukraine.
Ukraine as the country in whose airspace MH17 was shot down has the right to set up an inquiry to look into the facts of the tragedy, and that is what it did. It also invited a selected group of other countries to join its inquiry, and that is what happened.
That Ukraine is the instigator of this investigation is confirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2166 of 21st July 2016, whose paragraph 4 reads as follows:
“(The Security Council) recognises the efforts under way by Ukraine, working in coordination with ICAO and other international experts and organisations, including representatives of States of Occurrence, Registry, Operator, Design and Manufacture, as well as States who have lost nationals on MH17, to institute an international investigation of the incident, and calls on all States to provide any requested assistance to civil and criminal investigations related to this incident.”
In other words this is a Ukrainian investigation which certain other countries, namely the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia – all allies of the US and of Ukraine – were invited to join, and which they agreed to join.
Contrary to some claims, this is not an investigation set up by the Security Council, which merely “recognised” Ukraine’s intention to set it up.
Russia was not invited to join the investigation, and has played no role in it.
Reports say it was the Ukrainians who carried out most of the field work, and who produced most of the evidence. The nature of the evidence presented on Wednesday confirms that this is so. It is the sort of evidence that could only have come from Ukrainian sources.
The countries which agreed to join the investigation were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement which gave Ukraine the right to veto publication any findings of the investigation. The fact Dutch officials have taken the lead in presenting the findings of the investigation and appear to have played a significant role in it, should not obscure the fact that it was Ukraine that set up the investigation, and which mainly conducted it.
At the time the investigation was set up Ukraine was or ought to have been a suspect in the case. MH17 was shot down in its airspace at a time of armed conflict. Its military possess the means to shoot aircraft such as MH17 down, and there was at the very least a possibility that they might have shot it down.
Any investigation set up by a suspect in a case in which the suspect continues to play a major role by definition cannot be impartial or independent. This investigation therefore is not impartial or independent. The fact certain countries agreed to join an investigation set up by Ukraine in such circumstances amounts to a presumption on the part of those countries of Ukraine’s innocence and of others’ guilt. The fact the report adopts Ukrainian political language (for example the east Ukrainian militia are called “separatists”) is a sign of this.
The report is therefore best understood as what it actually is: a presentation of the prosecution case in the case Ukraine wants to bring against the people it accuses of shooting down MH17. What has happened is that Ukraine has brought in the help of outside countries – first and foremost the Netherlands but to a certain extent also the US – to lend its case credibility and to strengthen some of its technical aspects.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.