THE HAGUE, February 18. /TASS/. The July 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 took place in the region where no Buk missile systems were deployed at the time of the tragedy, according to a leaked document of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service.
According to the document, sent to Dutch prosecutors, flight MH17 was flying beyond the range of all identified and operational Ukrainian and Russian locations where 9K37M1 Buk M1 systems were deployed.
Dutch journalist Max van der Werff, who founded Bonanza Media together with his Russian colleague Yana Yerlashova, said that for him, “the main conclusion is that the Dutch had information about the mobile Buk positions during the conflict.”
“This information we had not seen before,” he told TASS. “And the military, the Dutch, conclude that they have no information of any Buk missile systems close to MH17.”
Three more documents
In all, four documents have been published. Apart from the report on Buk positions, the website revealed a transcript of a conversation between German independent journalist Billy Six and Australian police officers. In this conversation, Six mentions eyewitnesses who observed Ukrainian fighter jets in the sky on the day of the MH17 incident.
Commenting on the information, van der Werff said he knew Six in person.
“With Billy Six document, I verified [it] with Billy, so it’s one of the reasons why we are sure the documents are genuine,” he said.
Van der Werff refused to provide any information about who leaked the documents.
The third document reveals that Australian experts working on the case were analyzing non-primary images/screenshots, which, as it turns out, were altered. For example, in one of the pictures, the date when it was modified is prior to the date when the file was created.
“Even after a year, the Australians did not have original photographs to test, using, like, sort of social media nonsense, cropped pictures. That was shocking for me, too,” he said.
The fourth document is a transcript of a conversation between Dutch police officers and an unnamed eyewitness, who says he spotted two Ukrainian Air Force fighter jets overhead right before the incident. A few minutes later, he heard a loud bang and saw the passenger plane coming down.
The Boeing-777 passenger plane operated by Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17, 2014, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in the east of the Donetsk Region. As a result, 298 people, citizens of 10 states, were killed in the crash. The parties to the armed conflict in Donbass accused each other of being complicit in the tragedy.
Despite active combat actions, Kiev did not close airspace over Donbass for international passenger flights. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was set up to investigate the tragedy, consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
In June 2019, the JIT said it had identified four individuals suspected of being involved in the MH17 crash. They are three Russian nationals Igor Girkin, also known under the nickname of Strelkov, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and a Ukrainian national, Leonid Kharchenko. The trial is scheduled to begin in the Netherlands on March 9. Russia’s authorities have repeatedly voiced doubt over the JIT’s findings, pointing to the lack of evidence and its reluctance to take into account Moscow’s conclusions made during the investigation.