Overview of Dutch prosecutor July statements on MH17 investigation

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At July 7 and 8 2016 various interviews with Dutch prosecution service were published in Dutch newspapers. Especially Dutch NRC had some interesting information about the progress of the investigation into the downing of MH17.

This post has a summary of the most interesting statements.

Sources are the articles below:

  • OM doet beroep op Rusland: geef radarbeeld MH17 vrij (NRC July 7)
  • ‘Of de Russen meewerken? Dat is lastig te beoordelen’ (NRC July 8)
  • OM wil steun regering voor beelden MH17 (Telegraaf July 8)
  1. After summer Dutch prosecutor will make public to the worldpress the exact weapon and exact launch location
  2. According prosecutor Westerbeke “there is a close relation between who controlled the area of the launch location and who shot down MH17”
  3. Based on analysis the prosecutor believes Russia has additional radar recordings besides the processed primary radar (at the glass) from Rostov on Don civil air traffic control.
  4. Dutch prosecutor requested Russian Federation to hand over the primary radar recordings (edit: could be raw radar recording from Rostov or from other (military) sources)
  5. Dutch prosecutor requested Russian Federantion to hand over reference material of BUK missiles. (edit: I assume JIT want to obtain a 9M38 warhead. Pictures in JIT press releases show JIT has a 9M38M1 warhead. However for crosscheck JIT could also might like to obtain a second 9M38M1 but this seems unlikely to me)
  6. Dutch prosecutor is convinced it will find out who is responsible for the shot down of MH17
  7. Dutch prosecutor will request help from Dutch government in obtaining radar images if Russia does not hand over this information.
  8. Telegraaf states JIT wil present the type of weapon and launchlocation in October. This is not a quote of the Dutch prosecutor btw.
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35 Comments on Overview of Dutch prosecutor July statements on MH17 investigation

  1. “I assume JIT want to obtain a 9M38 warhead.” Why not simply ask Ukraine? Ukraine is part of JIT and must have these warheads themselves. They can even provide JIT with a complete BUK if they wanted.
    If Russia has any military data, they certainly will not give them to JIT. In fact they are under no obligation to provide anything. ICAO rules do not apply to JIT’s investigations. JIT can only ask.

    • sotilaspassi // July 11, 2016 at 6:22 am // Reply

      Why you think Ukraine has any 9M38 warhead?
      I have not seen any evidence of that.
      All evidence prove Ukraine has M1 missiles & warheads.

      • “Why you think..” Because they got them after the Sovjet Union split up. They could not only be use on Buks, as a seemingly lesser effective variant, but also on ships. Unless they didn’t sell them, or NATO destroyed them, they must still have them.
        “All evidence..” Some people still don’t understand the limits of the internet. And you made a logical error: if all evidence, you know of, prove Ukraine has M1 missiles & warheads, this doesn’t mean they do not have 9M38 warheads.

        • sotilaspassi // July 12, 2016 at 6:00 am // Reply

          Missiles do not remain usable without maintenance. In 2005 Ukraine negotiated about the prolonging of the use of M1 missiles or systems. No mention of 9M38 any more.

          In normal world, non-working missiles and warheads are not expensively stored forever. They are scrapped or detonated.
          But, yes it is possible Ukraine had not destroyed their useless 9M38 arsenal. We just do not know it for sure. We know they have 900+ M1 missiles & warheads. And we know Ukraine was big buyer of M1 missile stock, according to A-A.

          • Ukraine do not have factories to product most of armoury and weapons. They use soviet union ammunition and weapons (even tanks are assembled from old parts). And they use old ammunition on Donbass (I saw many shell’s photos with 87-88-89 years of production).

            Some days ago Turchynov mention about that: stocks of ammunition coming to an end and they need to construct weapon factories: https://lenta.ru/news/2016/06/15/turchinov/

          • sotilaspassi // July 12, 2016 at 11:50 am //

            @ JayDi

            BUT they do not have lack of BUK M1 missiles because, they do not shoot at airliners or rebel ground forces with it.

            A-A said UA had 990+ M1 missiles in 2005 and was main buyer of the rest of the M1 missile stock.

            To my understanding Ukraine produce T64 tanks by themself. New T72 they have produced since 2014 autumn from usefull hulls from Belarus (IIRC).

            ((silly thing is that according to RU believers east ukrainian farmers and miners can output far more modern TOS-1, Pantsir, T72B3, T90, drones, etc. ground force HW than what UA can))

          • @sotilaspassi

            No. They assembling T64 and other armoury from old parts (cut old soviet vehicles and reassemble it to “new”). Here is examples:

            They can’t manufacture it from scratch. That’s why they cooperate with Russian (before war).

          • Sotilaspassi, you make the same mistake over and over again. The simple fact that you did find evidence that they negotiated in 2005 over M1 systems, doesn’t mean that they didn’t negotiate over 9M38 missiles some other time. These missiles weren’t obsolete as you seem to think.

  2. sotilaspassi // July 11, 2016 at 6:26 am // Reply

    One Twitter dude claims he has RU RAW radar data.
    But he is not not able to publish it before all “fingerprints” are removed.

    1) He lies.
    2) Most likely fake raw data is being made, but it takes time because it must match with previously shown video and be valid with ATC radar display / playback software.
    3) +It is possible RU did not delete the data… because of incompetence etc.

    • “3) +It is possible RU did not delete the data” This is nonsense, these systems are automated.
      Russia may have more “at the glass” data from different screens. This wouldn’t have been a continuous story if DSB had done their work properly.

      • sotilaspassi // July 12, 2016 at 6:04 am // Reply

        System delete the record automatically? Ok.

        But if anyone made a copy of it, I doubt the copy file “autodelete” itself.

  3. sotilaspassi // July 11, 2016 at 6:30 am // Reply

    +There is absolutely no need for 9M38 warhead, unless JIT think it contain bowties.
    Serial numbers (build date) of their missiles, launchers, and their location should be more relevant to know.

    • If they want to be really thorough then they may need this warhead. However, JIT checked some possible launch sites. They might want to corroborate their findings with reference material, provided by the Russians.

  4. Daniel Been // July 12, 2016 at 7:33 am // Reply

    sotilaspassi: “Missiles do not remain usable without maintenance. In 2005 Ukraine negotiated about the prolonging of the use of M1 missiles or systems. No mention of 9M38 any more.”

    You’re assuming Russia or AA is the only one capable of providing maintenance? Not likely as Ukraine sold at least 9К37М1 and Buk-M1 independently to Georgia, who somewhat “surprised” Russian with them and downed some of their aircraft in 2008.

    There might be some information on exact maintenance company somewhere but I think Ukroboronprom would be capable (or as “Ukroboronservice”), they do have the system listed as maintainable (but not sure if they do also the missiles?). About the sale more info here http://pvo.guns.ru/book/cast/georgia.htm

    Interesting note: Georgia kept during the war the BUK radar shut off until the last moment and they apparently surprised the Russian air force with it. Russia appeared not expecting their presence while it was not exactly a secret.

    • Liane Theuer // July 12, 2016 at 9:04 am // Reply

      Daniel Been, in your link it is also important what is written about radar systems :

      „Ukraine sold Georgia two modern 36D6-M radars … The 36D6-М is a mobile, 3-D air surveillance radar, developed by the Iskra company in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine. The 36D6-M radar is a deep modernization of the ST-68U (19Zh6) Tin Shield radar, taken into service in 1980 and used with the S-300P (SA-10) SAM system. The 36D6-M radar has a range of up to 360 km.
      Ukraine delivered at least one Kolchuga-M passive electronic monitoring radar system, capable of passively detecting modern aircraft. Earlier, Ukraine was severely criticized by the United States for having sold Kolchuga systems to China, Iraq, and Iran.
      The Ukrainian company Aerotekhnika upgraded the obsolete Georgian P-18 Spoon Rest radars to the P-180U version, which amounts to a qualitatively new and modern 2-D air surveillance radar system.
      In 2006, company Aerotekhnika united Georgian military and four civilian air-traffic-control radars and the Kolchuga-M system into a single Air Sovereignty Operations Center (ASOC) early warning and command control tactical system.“

      The Ukrainian corporation AeroTekhnika is specialized in development and manufacture of sophisticated, highly technological equipment for air traffic control, for the Air Force, the Navy.

      Oleksandr Turchynov visited Aerotekhnika to examine the production and modernization of air defense systems :

      “It is also very important that Aerotekhnika is a non-governmental enterprise. When we are speaking about the revival of the military industry of Ukraine, which is growing fast, we mean not only the state Ukroboronprom concern, but also private companies that compete with it,” Turchynov said.

      I am convinced that Ukraine has installed a network of military radar systems for the ATO zone. And it worked well on July 17/2014.
      But I think the JIT never asked Oleksandr Turchynov about it.

    • sotilaspassi // July 12, 2016 at 9:34 am // Reply

      If Ukraine was capable to do the maintenance, it is little strange they asked A-A for the maintenance in 2005.

  5. About tapped telephone conversations from SBU: “By now, the investigators are certain about the reliability of the material. “After intensive investigation, the material seems to be very sound”, says Van Doorn, ..” (MH17 e-zine, JIT).
    Remember this conversation, according to SBU tapped on the 17th of Juli:
    “H: Yes, Botsman, I’m listening.
    B: Hello, big brother. How are you?
    H: Not so well. We are in Mariinovka. That’s why not well. Carrying on.
    B: What’s wrong?
    H: What do you think? (The Ukrainian army is) attacking with “Grad” (multiple-rocket launchers) all the time, finally now we’re having a little break. We’ve just hit a plane, Su–type. Because we’ve got BUK–M. They (Ukrainian soldiers) are now in Zelenopillja, trying to break free, but their way out is only through me. Yesterday we hit 2 Su jets, today – another two. Thank God “BUK–M” arrived today in the morning. It became easier. But in general, of course, it’s tough.
    B: What can I say, if you need anything, call me – and I’ll arrive immediately.
    H: Thanks, brother. I’m going in two hours…Seems like it’s a lull. In two hours I’m heading to Donetsk. Because I was sent three more “Gvozdika” (self–propelled artillery). Will carry ‘Gvozdikas’ here because it’s really tough now…”

    • Daniel Been // July 13, 2016 at 2:28 pm // Reply

      Trying to find a date for the events of that conversations, if it’s indeed authentic and one whole.

      1- in Mariinovka
      2- Ukraine shelling constant (grad)
      3- After a “little break”
      4- just hit Su with BUK, today 2 Su total
      5- yesterday hit 2 Su
      6- Ukraine stuck in Zelenopillja

      ad 1: https://web.archive.org/web/20140727054841/http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2014/07/ukraines_separatist_rebels_rec.html

      ad 2: hard to say, could be either day, they lost and gained the area

      ad 3: “After a brief lull’ from 13th of July onward
      “Clashes broke out between insurgents and the Armed Forces along the border with Russia in Shakhtarsk Raion on 16 July.”

      ad 4: “One Su-25 lost to a SAM and another damaged by MANPADS on 16 July 2014”
      This would confirm #3 but for the 16th

      ad 5: On July 15 nothing known? Of if conversation is from the 17th it would mean Su flew on the 17th despite claims Ukraine. Claim #5 stands out as odd. Did they just “hit”, damage or destroy them?

      ad 6: http://www.euronews.com/2014/07/16/families-demand-trapped-soldiers-be-freed-in-eastern-ukraine/ July 16th

      If Ukraine is not lying about their flights on the 17th, this must mean at least two Su jets were targeted on the 15th and this conversation is definitely from the 16th.

      • Actually everything perfectly fits the afternoon of July 17, but “ad 4”. However, they believed they shot down one Su-25 that morning, and the second “Su” was Boeing itself. The conversation took place likely at 16:30-17:00 EEST on July 17.

        • An Su-25 flying at 10.000m?

          • Slozhny // July 13, 2016 at 7:54 pm //

            Is An-26 flying at 10.000 m a better option? They believed even in a virtual Su-25 being shot down that morning…
            It was not Khmury who shot Boeing down. That was a Russian crew presumably from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade. Obviously they did not report to Khmury what target they shot. And hardly even knew that themselves. They simply “worked out” a target designation (just azimuth and maybe tilt angle, that’s all) given to them guess by whom.

          • Hugh Eaven // July 13, 2016 at 9:01 pm //

            We can be quite certain they would be over 6km considering they lost two already the last day. In Afghanistan these planes even went to 8-9km loaded whatever the Internet or some retirees have claimed. In the books “Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot” & “Su-25 :Frogfoot Units In Combat” by Alexander Mladenov, some details about this can be found (you might find it through Google Books). Check out the chapter “High Altude Bombings” chapter in the second one about “easy” cruising with load at 8 km. Well it wasn’t a joy but they did it. They had to.

            The question would then be how close the jet or jets went to the airliner, not to shoot it (it would need a motive for starters) but more likely just to stay alive. To do that on purpose however is a war crime and would mean splitting a chunk of the blame with Russia during an actual trial. And I believe that could explain quite well some noticeable Ukrainian attempts to deny these airplanes themselves. But once that door opens: everything could be questioned. At this stage, Ukraine could not survive this version becoming any part of the narrative. The stakes are clear enough in this story board.

          • Guess again, Slozhny. And if these people were only fooling themselves, what is the point in using these tapped phone calls?
            Solitaspassi already told us that they also had Pantsirs. Why would a trained Russian crew use an old BUK m1, which wasn’t even designed to operate on its own if they easily could have used a Pantsir? The stand alone mode is only a fall back option.

          • Hugh Eaven, shadowing Boeing was virtually useless for the capable of that Ukrainian aircraft (MiG-29, Su-27, Su-24) in this case. Unless they wanted to fly to Russia. There was nothing to do at such a high altitude there, and descending would reduce to negative any advantage of shadowing.

            Rob, Pantsirs appeared later, and I’m not sure if Buk M1 was used and not Buk M1-2. Do ask Russian MoD on why this or that. Tapped phone calls were to demonstrate who had to do with downing MH17.

          • Hugh Eaven // July 14, 2016 at 5:37 am //

            Slotzhny: “useless”. Not sure, one has to ask experienced pilots. Perhaps it helps the the jammer to have the proximity of another large aircraft? Some DRFM false target feature at work? BUK needs ground radar and can link to military radar networks too. Anyway the altitude is not useless for performing high altitude bombing. Not very accurate but you can drop something before the MANPAD gets you.

            Of course the alternative is careless operators without any secondary radar information believing it was a supply run of the An-26 (again) and the wiretap containing two misidentification and quite a bunch of witnesses imagining things. That’s possible too.

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