Summary of the MH17 Joint Investigation Team pressconference of May 24, 2018

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<this blogpost will be updated >

At May 24, 2018 the Joint Investigation Team which is responsible for the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17 held a pressconference in Bunnik, the Netherlands.

Links to the recording of this pressconference at the end of this blogpost.

Dutch police published the information about the investigation status here. (english here). Dutch Public Prosecution Service published this article on the progress of the investigation and request for help.

The text of the people who spoke during the pressconference can be read here (Dutch)

The event had two major goals:

1.Update the public on the proceedings of the investigation

2. Request the help of the public

JIT showed an animation of what they found out.

JIT presented evidence for the origin of the BUK TELAR which was involved in the downing of MH17. JIT has evidence the BUK belonged to the 53 Anti Aircraft Missile brigade based near the city of Kursk, Russia.

JIT presented 7 unique characteristics which a only a specific BUK TELAR launcher of the  53rd anti-aircraft brigade has. In May 2016 Bellingcat published this report about unique characteristics of the BUK TELAR.

The JIT evidence is exactly the same evidence as presented by Bellingcat in 2016. The Bellingcat report on the The 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade was published in February 2016.

JIT requested Russian Federation to provide information on the whereabout of a BUK  53rd Brigade. Russian Federation failed to provide information.

Because the JIT no longer wants to exclusively turn to the Russian authorities to obtain information about this subject, the JIT also calls in the assistance from the public today – through the media – to answer questions that relate to the control of and the use of the BUK TELAR, as well as about the missile that was launched with that TELAR.

JIT requested the public for help on these questions:

  • Who was part of the Buk crew?
  • Who gave them instructions, and what were they?
  • Who was responsible for the operational deployment of the Buk?
  • Who can provide info on the 53rd Brigade?

In the room in which the pressconference was held two parts of a BUK missile were shown to the press. JIT is not sure if these two parts belonged to the exact BUK missile launched by the 53 Anti Aircraft Missile  brigade.

A venturi (engine nozzle) and the casing of the missile  where shown. JIT requested the public for information on these two parts.

  1. Do you recognize the handwriting of the number on the venturi?
  2. Do you have information about the numbers on the venturi and the casing? Or do you know anyone who knows about the meaning of those numbers?
  3. Are you or do you know someone with information about the missile in which these parts have been placed and to which unit this missile was delivered?

The exact venturi

JIT also showed a much more detailled screenshot of a previous published video showing the BUK TELAR on transport in Makiivka ! The previously published video was grainy. Hardly any detail of the BUK could be seen.

Westerbeke says that the JIT informed Russia about the 53rd Brigade weeks ago, asking for information about Buk 332. Russia refused to provide information after requests, and today JIT sent specific information about the missile fragments (including serial numbers).

A journalist asked about the number of around 100 suspects mentioned in earlier JIT pressconference and in media. Fred Westerbeke responded the number of suspects is a few dozens of different nationalities.

 

Livestreams of the pressconference

Dutch Public Prosecution Service: bit.ly/2KRZosf
Ruptly: bit.ly/2ILN8sk
Dutch TV NPO1; bit.ly/2ppovLz

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