Chief Prosecutor Westerbeke on MH17 “a mistake is an important scenario we are investigating”

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Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad published an interview (archive) with chief prosecutor of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (Openbaar Ministerie) Fred Westerbeke. Westerbeke is the lead for the criminal investigation (JIT) on MH17.

Some of his statements are:

  • Intelligence services from Ukraine (SBU) have recorded hundreds of thousands of telephone conversations in what are terrorism investigations for them. Many more recordings are now available, but now they can only be released by completing the criminal cases.
  • There will be no report published. All findings of the JIT will be handed over to the court.
  • It is a civil war in Eastern Ukraine.
  • For JIT it is very important to know: why the BUK was used to down a civilian aircraft, and not a fighterjet of transport plane belonging to Ukraine. As this was likely the target.
  • MH17 was likely downed by accident. It is an important scenerio but still not sure if an error was indeed the cause
  • The question is: what did the crew of the BUK know? What did the commanders know? Based on what information did they take the decision. And are they liable? To get more insight witness are very important.
  • This was not a mistake made by a single person.
  • It is such a complex investigation as it needs to be determined why multiple persons made a mistake
  • The radar recordings are not important for the investigation. The investigation into the radar images is almost ready. All radarexperts will confirm that a missile most likely is not detected on radar because of its 3x speed of sound and small surface.
  • Westerbeke  cannot tell when the investigation will end.

 

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8 Comments on Chief Prosecutor Westerbeke on MH17 “a mistake is an important scenario we are investigating”

  1. “The radar recordings are not important for the investigation. The investigation into the radar images is almost ready. All radarexperts will confirm that a missile most likely is not detected on radar because of its 3x speed of sound and small surface.”

    Had any of the experts considered test firing a Buk missile and seeing if radar detects it or not?

    Sheesh – we are moving towards 4 years after the event and this is the twaddle the chief prosecutor is spouting.

    • “Had any of the experts considered test firing a Buk missile and seeing if radar detects it or not?” Why are you asking here? Would “any of the experts” get the co-operation from the Russians & friends to “test fire” the missile from the suspected launch location, south of Snizhne, and get the results from the Russian radar station at Ust-Donetsk? Would “any of the experts” need to simulate the target (or even use a real one…), to make the trajectory of the missile end at the last FDR position? Would “any of the experts” need to wait until the weather conditions are comparable with those on the day of the event to extend the “test firing” to get more info, like visibility of the missile plume? Would the test firing need to be repeated from other locations, like Zarochenskoe? Would all that be needed when there is sufficient other evidence.

      “Moving towards 4 years”? So? Is that long? What are the circumstances? The chief prosecutor tells just what he can tell without jeopardizing the investigations, the prosecution and the future trial. That is not really much.

      • Of course they won’t do anything of the sort.

        Just like they will not turn a retired aircraft into a drone and test shoot it as well from the same direction as supposed to prove the impact pattern is close to identical.

        This is part of why there will never be a court case. They don’t want to answer the actual forensic questions that could easily be answered but which would not provide the answers desired.

        For the same reason, they will never release to te public the 99.9% of the satellite images available of Donbass on July 16-18, 2014. The images will not tell the correct story.

  2. “Would “any of the experts” get the co-operation from the Russians & friends to “test fire” the missile from the suspected launch location, south of Snizhne, and get the results from the Russian radar station at Ust-Donetsk?”

    Errrr, yes. I mean why wouldn’t they?

    • sotilaspassi // March 22, 2018 at 4:47 pm // Reply

      It would be totally futile.
      One would need a lot of launches.

      We know the only possible launch site.

      Better focus on why Russians shot MH17.
      Or why Russisns are keeping their Baturinskaya PSR radar data secret.

  3. “All radarexperts will confirm that a missile most likely is not detected on radar because of its 3x speed of sound and small surface.” They are wrong. A BUK radar is designed to detect a missile. Remember this experimental radar JIT was talking about during their presentation? An Ukrainian BUK may not be the perpetrator, it surely can be a witness.

    • Perhaps. But question number one would then be whether the Ukrainian army had any active BUKs in the area. And then, why would they have activated the radar in those BUKs and continuously scan the sky if they had nothing to fear from the air? Another question would be IF any active BUKs were there and IF they had their radar switched on, then would the BUK radar data continuously be recorded for later review?

      • sotilaspassi // March 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm // Reply

        There is no ondication that Ukraine had any BUK radar active when MH17 was shot.

        I’m also 99% sure Ukraine BUK radar does not record.
        Also I’m 80% sure BUK TAR or firedome can not see a BUK in flight.

        UA had mobile military PSR active. Data was given yo JIT.

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