Dutch main stream media journalist omits relevant information in his critism on JIT report

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298 innocent peope were killed by a BUK missile. They deserve we find out the truth based on facts.

An  article written by Dutch tv-maker Vincent Verweij published at Dutch crimesite.nl raised a lot of eyebrows. In the article published September 30 and titled “Vraagtekens bij het JIT-onderzoek naar MH17” (translated Doubts about the JIT investigation into MH17″)  the author describes many of his doubts about the scenario presented by JIT at the press conference on September 28.

This blogpost will show the article is full of errors and assumptions  instead of using logics and knowledge on facts.

Let me be clear: I am very much supporting journalists who are critical towards government and investigation team. However journalists should focus on the right subjects with critism. I have not read any critism by Dutch media on the Ukraine authorities for not closing the airspace. I have not read much critism on the acting by Dutch Government which is frustrating each and every attempt by press to obtain information.

I have also hardly seen any investigative journalism on MH17. There are a lot more critical questions to be anwered. Like what could be the motive for the shot down?

Indeed the Ukraine SBU which has both secret service and investigation branches has a reputation of not being reliable. This does not mean the evidence shown by JIT is unreliable. I made an overview of Ukraine lies here.

Verweij however completely ignores the many clear and proven lies by the Russian authorities. Why would Russia lie? Did Verweij think about that? Why would Russia only after 26 months present primary radar? I could go on and on but that would be out of scope for this article.

Remarkable about this article is that is was written by a Dutch freelance journalist who went to Eastern Ukraine multiple times to make tv items about MH17. This tv documentary for example was made by Verweij and aired at Dutch national tv on October 30 2014.

Verweij his critism is based on the JIT press conference at September 28. A few observations.

  • This was a press conference. Not a court case. It must be obvious for everyone, a journalist who went to Ukraine several times in particular, that JIT is not going to make public all the evidence it has.
  • JIT made public the exact type of weapon used and the location of the launch. The motive and the names of the suspects is still under investigation.

A journalist with the experience of Vincent Verweij should be aware of this. And he should be aware of the impact of his articles on the public opinion. He should have made clear the intention of his article.

Lets analyse the article written by Vincent Verweij to show how wrong he is.

The  text below suggests that the BUK might not have come from the Russian Federation. Verweij states that the tapped telephone conversation is not a proof the BUK was brought in from Russia. The separatists talk about a line which is crossed. Verweij does not rule out that line is the border between Luhansk and Donetsk republic.

Het probleem met het eerste en derde gesprek is dat ze hooguit bewijzen dat er een BUK was, maar niet waar die vandaan kwam en of die gebruikt is om MH17 neer te halen. Er blijkt niet onomstotelijk uit dat Rusland de leverancier van de BUK was. Het zou namelijk ook een bevriende separatist uit een andere stad kunnen zijn, die belt. De ‘lijn’ in het tweede gesprek zou kunnen verwijzen naar de grens tussen de provincies Luhansk en Donetsk. Of een aanvoerlijn van wapens. De gesprekken zijn dus voor meerdere uitleg vatbaar.

First of all JIT states it was able to reconstruct the route from the border to Luhansk based on several tapped telephone conversations. One of those was heard in the JIT press conference. See the JIT video here.

Secondly it is for me 100% certain Russia delivered the BUK TELAR. There are many similarities between the BUK photographed in Eastern Ukraine on July 17 and a BUK with number 332 en-route from its base in Kursk to the Ukraine-Russian border.

While JIT for a good reason did not reveal all, Verweij should have known better.

This Bellingcat video shows how well BUK 3×2 as seen in Russia matches the BUK as seen in Donetsk.

Next Verweij mentions that separatists might have stolen a BUK from an Ukraine Army base north of Donetsk. Verweij makes it look like it was confirmed the separatists indeed had a BUK. This has never been confirmed by anyi  investigation and in fact there is a not a single piece of public available evidence which provides the smallest indication the separatists captured an Ukraine BUK.

Verweij does not mention any evidence supporting his claim. In fact the quote from the Dutch Safety Board final report states the Ukraine BUKs were not operational.

Far more likely is that the separatists pretended to have stolen a BUK from that Donetsk base. However they used an old photo to prove that. Also the base did not have any operational BUKs. There was a BUK left however that was broken and missing many parts as various photos show. That particular BUK never moved from its position.
Blogger UkraineAtWar already in October 2014 reported about this story.

Wat de JIT ook niet meldt, is dat separatisten al eerder BUK systemen hadden buitgemaakt, bij de inname van een Oekraiense luchtmachtbasis. Dat was op 29 juni, twee weken voor de crash van MH17. De onderzoeksraad meldde dit wel in zijn rapport (zie afbeelding hieronder)

Next Verweij doubts the reliability of the Ukraine SBU. I agree this is not the most reliable secret service in the world (does a reliable secret service exist?). Verweij states he has doubts about the reliability of the tapped telephone conversations. How can JIT be sure sure these were not manipulated?

That is a good question! The Dutch prosecutor did went to Eastern Ukraine to verify these telephone conversations took place. I assume JIT knows the unique ID of each phone. So if JIT can establish ID of phone 1 was connected to telephone tower X at location Y, while ID of phone 2 was connected to another telephone tower, JIT can be sure the telephone conversation took place.

De betrouwbaarheid van de taps is bovendien twijfelachtig.  Hoe weet het JIT zo zeker dat er niet met de datum, locatie of inhoud van de taps is gerommeld? Dat er geen gesprekken zijn geknipt en geplakt door de Oekraïners, die er tenslotte alle belang bij hebben de Russen de schuld te geven?

Next Verweij states that JIT did not show any evidence for the route of the BUK inside Russia. That is correct. If Verweij had a better understanding of the MH17 case, he would understand why. I will explain.


Update October 4: after I wrote this blogpost and Vincent made his comment, I learned about the most important reason Russia Federation was not mentioned as a suspect during the press conference. The prosecutor has not legal authority to prosecute states. The Dutch prosecutor can only prosecute individuals as Dutch newspaper NRC explains here. States can only be prosecuted in the European Court for Human Rights.


This is a highly sensitive criminal investigation. Russia doubted each and every conclusion so far. Not a single leader, not Mark Rutte, not the EU, not the NATO, blamed Russia for the shot down of MH17. That may sound weird but check out the press releases in this blogpost.

Addionally the press conference was not on mentioning suspects and their origin. It was about the weapon and launch location.

JIT simply leaves some room for Russia to cooperate. By directly putting the blame on Russia , Russia is likely to completely refuse to cooperate.

Maar het JIT presenteerde geen enkel beeld van het transport van de BUK vanuit Rusland naar Donetsk. Een afstand van minimaal 95 kilometer, waar een zwaar transport minstens 2 uur voor nodig heeft. Dat is merkwaardig. Tientallen foto’s en video’s van de route Donetsk – Pervomaisky. Geen enkele van de aanvoerroute Rusland – Donetsk

Next Verweij doubts about the escape route taken by the Volvo with the BUK TELAR on the lowloader after the shot down. According  JIT the Volvo drove from Pervomaisky  via Debaltseve and Luhansk back to Russia. That is a big detour. According to Verweij “absolutely not credible”.

To understand, lets first see the route taken by the convoy in the early morning of July 17 to reach Pervomaisk. After crossing the border it went likely via Luhansk and via Yenakiieve to Donetsk. In Donetsk it  drove a few miles into the city, turned around, was parked at a busy road and then went eastwards towards Pervomaisk. A totally non logical route as well. The public does not know the reason for this detour. My explanation is that it was meant to show the BUK was stolen from the Donetsk army base north of Donetsk. Maybe the separatists wanted to show off they had a BUK so the Ukraine Air Force was afraid.

An indication for the BUK  being shown to the public was  Pro-Russian separatist leader Igor Strelkov who posted a statement on Russia’s largest social network

We have warned them — not to fly in ‘our sky.'”

Another reason for this route was that it was through separatists controlled areas. The shorter route south of Snizhne to and from the border was not controlled by separatists. In fact there was heavy fighting on July 16. For sure not a safe route.

Last but not least, the reason for a detour are bridges and other low obstacles which prevented the lowloader and BUK to cross. This crossing shown in the image  is located between Donetsk and Torez. The BUK on lowloader could just have fitted under the bridge.


Ten eerste is het volstrekt onlogisch om van Pervomaisky naar Rusland te rijden via Debaltseve en Luhansk. Een omweg van 120 kilometer. Als je van Arnhem naar Duitsland wilt rijden, ga je ook niet eerst terug naar Almere en daarna naar Zwolle. Waarom zou een BUK-systeem, waarmee net een massamoord is gepleegd, die wereldwijd breaking news is, via een dergelijke onlogische omweg het land uit worden gesmokkeld? Dat is volstrekt ongeloofwaardig.

The map of the route the BUK transport took in the afternoon and evening of July 17/July 18.


Next  Verweij states the area of Luhansk which the BUK transport crossed was on the morning of July 18 controlled by Ukraine. Verweij based his believe on maps. Maps are not reliable. There is a lot of discussion on the Luhansk video. For now I am not going into detail about this.

Next argument of Verweij is the location of telephone conversations as shown by JIT misses Luhansk. Verweij doubts if the transport was there at all.

The reason JIT did not show Luhansk on the map is simple. JIT was not allowed by the Luhansk Republic leaders to investigate the telephone towers in Luhansk. the Netherlands largest newspaper Telegraaf reported about the obstruction of the criminal investigation in August 2015.

Despite the fact that I provided that Telegraaf article in an email to Verweij he choose not to add this to his article.

Maar op de kaart die het JIT toonde (afbeelding hieronder) ontbreekt precies van één locatie de plaatsbepaling: Luhansk. De vraag is dus opnieuw of die begeleiders daar wel zijn geweest met de BUK na de crash.

In his conclusion Verweij states that the JIT statement about the BUK being  delivered by Russia has not been not well-founded.

Verweij forgets his was listening to a press conference, not a court case. Judges want a smoking gun according Verweij. True, but we did not see a court case.


This is a bad piece of work by a main stream media journalist who makes documentaties for Dutch television. Verweij should have done his homework and should have thought a bit better about publishing. And he might have written the intension of his article a bit more clear.

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12 Comments on Dutch main stream media journalist omits relevant information in his critism on JIT report

  1. Wind Tunnel Man // October 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm // Reply

    “Maybe the separatists wanted to show off they had a BUK so the Ukraine Air Force was afraid.”

    In the Paris Match video of the BUK I get the impression that the driver of the car knew in advance that there was a BUK hauled by a Volvo truck parked on the roadside. It does appear that the driver quickly prepared to shoot the video himself or herself from a left hand drive car – the speedometer, fuel gauge, etc. can be seen in a couple of the frames. It’s possible that the video was a piece of covert surveillance done by somebody working for Ukrainian intelligence or by the separatists themselves (or separatist supporter) but in either case it would indicate that the separatists had possession of a BUK (either as a decoy or operational) and that was later made public initially as cropped still frames.

  2. Instead of going under that too low bridge, the low-loader took a detour over the rails 30 m from the bridge:

    • How do you know it took a detour?

    • sotilaspassi // October 4, 2016 at 11:05 am // Reply

      1-Drive slowly and observe, BUK transport might just fit under it.
      2-unload BUK, drive to other side, load the BUK
      3-go via the route for tall truck loads (right beside the overpass)

      Number 3 is the fastest and safest option.

  3. I’m the author of the article that is being criticised here. In my article, I presented many arguments why the Luhansk video showing the ‘return of the BUK to Russia’, is not trustworthy. The whole point of my article is that JIT needs to present a 100% tight chain of evidence. Not leave room for doubt. If JIT wants to catch the bad guys, they need to do a better job in the courtroom. The press conference was not convincing me enough.

    Here’s my reaction to a number of the points raised by Marcel.

    1) Marcel writes that he ‘has not read any critism by Dutch media on the Ukraine authorities for not closing the airspace’. In fact, I was the first journalist that researched this and critisized the Ukrainians extensively. In KRO Reporter of 30/10/2014 you can see me visiting UKsatse (Air Traffic Authority) and the Ministry of Transport, asking some very tough questions about this subject. And I have interviewed three experts, including the former director of the MIVD (Dutch Military Intelligence Service). Segment starts at 27’26.

    2) Marcel writes: ‘JIT made public the exact type of weapon used and the location of the launch’. However, the JIT also made public where the weapon came from. Russia. A very important statement with big geopolitical impact. I think that JIT should prove it 100% in court and to the world press. However, they left room for reasonable doubt. Doubts that I have described in my article. In the courtroom, reasonable doubt will lead to a ’not-guilty’ judgement. If the JIT wants to proof that Russians did it, they must present more than they did last week. I also wrote that the most likely scenario in my opinion is that Russia provided the BUK.

    3) Marcel says: ‘Bellingcat video shows how well BUK 3×2 as seen in Russia matches the BUK as seen in Donetsk’. If that is true, then why did the JIT not present this evidence? It would make their statement that the BUK came from Russia stronger. But they didn’t show it. Do they have doubts?

    4) Marcel writes: ‘Verweij mentions that separatists might have stolen a BUK from an Ukraine Army base. This has never been confirmed by any investigation’. In fact, this has been confirmed by multiple sources.
    a) Ukraine army spokesman Oleksiy Dmytrashkovskiy said that airbase A1402 was captured by separatists and that it had a Buk surface-to-air missile system
    b) ITAR-Tass and RIA Novosti press agencies reported it
    c) MIVD, in a diplomatic cable to The Hague confirmed it
    d) Google satellite images from the airbase before and after the attack show vehicles missing.
    e) Separatist-leader Sergey Koerjagin wrote on social media that ‘our talented technicians are repairing the BUKs that were captured earlier’.

    5) Marcel writes: ‘the reason for a detour are bridges and other low obstacles which prevented the lowloader and BUK to cross’. Nonsense. Anyone can check on Google Earth that the shortest road from Pervomayske to the border was intact without obstacles or bridges. There was some fighting near Marinivka, but not along the road to the border.

    • Welcome to the site Mr Verweij.
      A couple counter points.

      First JIT’s press conference and report were only a progress report.
      A Interim report of both what they feel they can 100% PROVE in court and what they are willing to release to the public at present.

      Nothing more, nothing less.
      They are an INTERNATIONAL investigative team.
      They are not necessarily the prosecutors who will decide exactly what is used in court and how they will present it to whatever court or Tribunal is used (as of yet undetermined)
      They are an investigative body.
      There has been no announcement of what all (most) of the charges will be.
      We can guess, but that is up to them what they want to present.

      They have ZERO obligation to present ALL or anything they have to the public.
      They probably could have waited until trial to present anything to the public.
      Have you ever heard of in a standard 1 person murder investigation the investigators releasing a progress report?
      Have you?

      That being said.
      They have no obligation to release or prove anything until they arrest someone and give them their day in court.

      You want evidence, fortunately OSINT like Marcel, Bellingcat, and a few others have kept the public informed to credible evidence.
      Not the Russian disinformation koolaid thrown out by DNR nutcases and Kremlin media outfits.

      You can chose who you want to believe.
      Marcel and Bellingcat and a few others who have released and collected this evidence have matched up almost EXACTLY with what JIT says.

      1) Marcel did not criticize you directly with this, he criticized many of the Dutch media outlets.
      2&3) JIT is under no obligation to prove anything UNTIL COURT. They were gracious enough report on their progress and state what they were willing to release and state.
      The things they said are what they feel they can prove in court.
      4) It was a DNR/Kremlin disinfo campaign to TRY to stop Ukraine flying in their skies and devastating their troops.
      It also may have been a disinfo campaign setting up for the RUSSIAN BUK RUSSIAN MISSILES and actually being used in Ukraine.
      They knew they could not repair that BUK, or move it.
      They used some ancient photo and there was never an image of them with it or them repairing it.
      It was all Kremlin smoke and mirrors, typical USSR KGB BS.
      Look up Maskirovka
      5) Shot down July 17 at 4.20 pm
      I forget when the first announcement it was MH17 – within 45 minutes I think.
      Stays light in July until ~9pm.
      moved to storage location (they had three missiles still left) until superiors made decisions what to do with it.
      And until they could get rid of it during the nighttime hours.
      They had lots of decisions.
      Do we turn ourselves in or not.
      Will the Kremlin help us or not( If the Kremlini did not intentional strike an airliner) ?
      OOPS Ukraine is releasing a lot of info.
      What do we do…we have a BUK.
      Do we keep it or not?
      Will Russia invade to secure the crash scene and help us to cover up the crime like it has helped us cover up other crimes?

      Lots of little decisions, so they moved it into two secure locations before decisions were finalized.
      Final decision, return it to Russia and the Kremlin is not going to invade.
      We are left to our own devices.
      It goes through Luhansk and back to Russia.

      Your research is no where close to the amount of time Marcel has put into it.
      You probably should have asked him to edit for you before publishing, his input would have helped you greatly.

      Fare thee well

    • My response to the comments of Vincent:

      1- My critism is on Dutch journalists (and all other western) in general. Like yesterday when Russia stated the failure to close the airspace should be investigated by JIT. Hardly any western newspaper copied that remark! And I could go on. The balance in reporting is missing. So again I welcome critism but on the right subjects
      2 – again. September 28 was a press conference. Not a court case. JIT keeps its cards to the chest.
      3- I explained why Russia is not directly blamed. See the responses of for example Mark Rutte. Russia is not blamed. Russia is requested to cooperate. Think a bit more strategic and think like JIT does
      4 – MIVD report http://www.ctivd.nl/binaries/ctivd/documenten/rapporten/2015/10/13/rapport-mh17/ctivd-toezichtsrapport-nr-43-nl-hr-011015-def.pdf does not say the separatists captured a BUK. The report says what is says. Army base under control by separatists. BUK was not operational. Any thought that a BUK was taken and could be used to shot down MH17 is just based on Russian propaganda thinking. Quoting Russian media does not make sense. It is most of the times propaganda. Verweij as an experienced journalist should know he should takes these media with 100KG of salt.

      I really like to see the photos where it can clearly be seen that one or more BUKs are missing.

      5 – To make a judgement that a BUK on a lowloader was able to drive the shortest route to the Russian border via Luhansk you need at least to be sure:
      – the route was fully under control by the separatists
      – there are no height restrictions
      -there are no weight restrictions

      Lets start with height restriction. Vincent simply cannot be sure that crossings are high enough just based on Google Earth! Google Earth does not show that information.
      Secondly I really like Vincent to tell me the height of the lowloader + BUK. It took me a couple of hours to investigate.

      I notice Vincent does not respond to the news that Luhansk leaders did not allow JIT to investigate telephone systems.

    • sotilaspassi // October 4, 2016 at 10:00 am // Reply

      4)about base A1402 & claim of captured BUKs

      It seems there perhaps never was any BUK TELAR there (A1402 48.060301, 37.741770).

      To my understanding from luhansk base (48.609366, 39.232419) three or four BUK vehicles was “captured” by rebels.
      They were not moved before 17.7. So it would indicate they were not repairable. (they disappeared before 21.7, possibly taken to Russia)

      Yet another captured BUK 4km north from A1402 (here 48.098088, 37.754064) the “captured” broken BUK is there still.
      I think this photo https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CszTpiKWcAEQcj4.jpg is taken by rebels from the last shown base.
      You see the broken BUK in the middle and intact missile boxes on the right.

      • sotilaspassi // October 4, 2016 at 10:07 am // Reply

        Is this true:
        Alexei Dmitrashkovsky: “He also confirmed that the base No. A1402 has a Buk air defense missile system. “But it is not operational.”

        Did Alexei mean the base 4km north of A1402?
        If he really meant A1402, do we know the number of the launcher that was captured. Any photo anywhere?

      • sotilaspassi // October 4, 2016 at 10:13 am // Reply

        lugansk/luhansk base BUKs gone through here:

    • In addition to my previous reply. I just cannot believe how naive Vincent is. Quoting Russian media. While the Russian Ministry of Defense itself proved at the September 26 press conference it lied about the route presented at the July 21 2014 press conference.

      The lie is clear to anyone over an age of 8. http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/russian-mod-proved-it-lied-at-july-21-2014-press-conference-claims-no-buk-on-radar/

  4. Also I will add, Marcel and I do not agree on everything, Feel free to ask him or others about it if you want.

    He had his reasons for blocking me here and I understand it.
    His blog, his choice.
    I have enjoyed debates with him, and quite a few times he has won the arguments and he has made me consider other possibilities.

    Fare thee well

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