JIT to hold pressconference on MH17 at June 19

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In a letter to the families of MH17 victims the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) announced there are new development in the criminal investigation.

At June 19 the next of kin will be informed by the JIT in Nieuwegein. Thereafter at 13:00 the international media will be briefed.

The meeting will be streamed live in Dutch and English on the YouTube channel of the Netherlands Police:

Dutch newspaper AD reports

“We would like to have sent this invitation earlier to give you time to prepare,” writes Fred Westerbeke, coordinator of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). “Due to the phase the criminal investigation is currently in and the importance of secrecy, we have decided to do this only now.”

I can only speculate what will be announced. As the next of kin will be informed first, this indicates this is an important announcement by JIT. For the last announcement by JIT in May 2018 the next of kin where not informed. The purpose of that press conference was to request the help of the audience.

Another indication of a major announcement is the late notification of the next of kin due to ‘secrecy’.

Fact is the Dutch and Australian authorities do not trust JIT member Malaysia. It could well be the late announcement is to prevent more desinformation by other parties.

RTL Nieuws later reported 

The Public Prosecution Service is starting a lawsuit against a number of MH17 suspects. A prosecution decision has been made. Sources report to RTL News that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will announce this next Wednesday.

Three possible reasons for the June 19 announcement are:

  1. the announcement of a date the trial will start
  2. the presentation of more evidence
  3. the annoucement of the names of the suspects

My guess is JIT will announce the date of the trial. There are some indications for this. First Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported in February 2019 that JIT will hand over evidence to Dutch court before summer 2019.

Secondly the lawyers representing Ukraine at the ICJ trial in The Hague stated last week that “The investigation is nearing the end”.

The third indication is this statement by the German government made in May 2019 in response to questions by the German parliament.

Forth indication are the statements by the Malaysian PM. It could well be Russia pushed the PM to make these remarkable statements to muddy the waters by spreading doubt.

Also it seems there will be a significant amount of disinformation to be released just before July 17. So JIT might want to minimize the effect of this disinformation.

Dutch NOS reports that

The JIT is expected to announce who will be held responsible for bringing the aircraft down.

NOS does not clarify based on what they believe names of suspects will be announced. Earlier JIT stated the names will be first announced during the trial.

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