In the first 15 months after the MH17 disaster the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) had an important part to play, as they conducted the research that had to uncover the causes (not the culprits) of the plane crash.
Contrary to what the JIT showed to the public – a lot of social media material and intercepted calls, as we saw in parts 1-5 of this series – the DSB had commissioned two professional organizations to conduct a clear technical investigation into damage pattern analysis on the MH17 wreckage, a possible device and/or weapon that matched it and, from there on, missile trajectory calculations to establish a launch site.
On its own this would be a good way to start a thorough and trustworthy forensic investigation into the origins of a shoot down. Their results would also lay down a firm framework for the operational boundaries the JIT had to reckon with. Or was it the other way around and was the framework set by the JIT, ie. their most influential member, Ukraine, to get to a desired outcome?
Part 6. Support from the Dutch Safety Board
The JIT, the SBU and the intercepted calls
In parts 1-4 of this series we have seen that the evidence as comprised of photos, videos and written reports about a transport and a launch of a Buk air defense missile system allegedly implicated in the downing of flight MH17 has connections to an organization tied to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry in cooperation with the Ukrainian secret service SBU. In fact, it seems the SBU is main provider of the evidence as it has a stake in almost everything, from the social media proof to the conversations of high-ranked separatists that they intercepted.
In this blogpost the most important intercepts that have been published on open channels will be reviewed. Three modes of manipulation of the tapes will be suggested to account for the contradictions and irregularities that surface from close inspection of the conversations displayed. Investigation lays bare that the transcripts of the tapes should not be consumed at face value, as they don’t show clear leads for accusations when closely read. Furthermore, the story that unfolds in this blog leaves behind some profound questions that need to be answered, not only about the MH17 evidence itself, but also about the conduct of the investigating and prosecuting parties.
Conclusion should be that the SBU is implicated in demonstrable pieces of manipulation or even outright fraud, not only supported by the uncritical anti-Russian OSINT community, i.e. Bellingcat, but also fully backed-up and endorsed by the JIT, which seems to have merged their objectives with those of the post-Maidan Ukrainian state. Reading this elaborate report will provide a “treasure trove” of information that is necessary to assess the value and quality of the evidence that will be presented by Het Openbaar Ministerie in the MH17 trial, which will start March 9th, 2020.