Overview of Dutch prosecutor statements at next of kin meeting March 7

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At a meeting for next of kin of MH17 passengers the Dutch prosecutor informed about the progress of the investigation into the culprit and circumstances of the shotdown.

First the prosecutor Westerbeke and representatives of Dutch Police informed the next of kin. About 200 people attended the briefing which was not open to the press.

When the next of kin briefing ended. a pressbriefing van held. Next of kin did not attend.

RTL Nieuws had an item in their news broadcast late in the evening. Item starts at 03:38

The following was told at a pressbriefing at the end of the evening:

  • There is a high probability the culprit will be found and convicted according Fred Westerbeke, Dutch prosecutor acording Dutch newspaper Volkskrant. This is an interesting statement which was  made in the pressmeeting. First of all, no other media reported about this statement. Secondly this statement was not done by Westerbeke in the next of kin meeting.
    Also the Dutch Prosecution Service (OM) spokesman on Wednesday stated to the editor of Whathappenedtoflightmh17.com that Westerbeke for sure did not make any statements about the likelyhood of conviction. Westerbeke only stated he confidence in the judicial process.
    The journalist of Volkskrant Wil Thijssen however reconfirms on Twitter that she correctly quoted Westerbeke. Several tv stations made recordings.
  • Westerbeke responded to a question of the press with the answer below. The quote is taken from the RTL Nieuws item. I believe the question was “Zal de waarheid boven tafel komen?”
    The answer of Westerbeke as taped by RTL:

    Ik kan echt zegen als ik kijk naar hoe het onderzoek nu verloopt en hoe wij daar mee bezig zijn met een club mensen zoals net al beschreven dat wij daar alle vertrouwen in hebben. Ik kan niet in de toekomst kijken en zekerheid kan ik niet bieden maar ik kan wel zeggen dat wij op dit moment met het verloop en wat we nog steeds boven water krijgen dat ik geloof dat wij de waarheid boven tafel gaan krijgen.

    translation: Journalist: will truth will be ever known?
    Westerbeke: I believe with what we know so far that the truth will be found. No guarantees but I have all trust.

  • 80 police officers are still working full time on the investigation. They are operating out of the Netherlands and Kiev
  • According Westerbeke the most plausible scenario is that the passenger plane was accidentally shot down because it was mistaken for another, as yet unknown target.
  • The conclusions of Bellingcat partly contributed to the investigation. The investigation has found  far more information.
  • Dutch prosecutor interviewed the air traffic controler who had last contact with MH17. DSB did not talk to this controller as this was not required.
  • Many dozens of letter rogatory have been done to a large number of states
  • All requested information to the US has been handed over to the AIVD (Dutch secret service)
  • The primary radarrecordings are usefull but not required to determine who is to blame
  • The police was able to use other information to make sure no other planes flew near MH17
  • Not only the Dutch Safety Board but also the Dutch prosecutor (OM) was told by the Russian Federation that radar recordings were deleted.
  • The prosecutor does not put too much stress on the Russian Federation to obtain radar recordings. Russia’s help is required for other information as well.
  • The primary radar recordings are important to establish the trajectory of the missile according Westerbeke
  • Westerbeke is going to talk with representatives of Russian Federation to talk about primary radar recordings
  • before the second half of 2016 the exact loction the missile was fired from will be known to the police.
  • Also the exact type of BUK will be known before second half of 2016
  • Fred Westerbeke warned  that completing the investigation would take much longer. He declined to name a possible finishing date.
  • The prosecutor cannot reveal too much information as this could harm the prosecution.
  • Police spent a lot of time to get to know the operations of the BUK missile launcher. By how many people is it manned, can it distinguish a military aircraft from a civil one?
  • Over 100 witness were interviewed by police.
  • 50.000 SMS message were send to people in the area where MH17 crashed  with a request to respond if they had information.
    According to a posting at mh17.webtalk.ru the text of the SMS was: did you see the BUK enroute, please call this telephone number.


Source: Volkskrant , Telegraaf and AD

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9 Comments on Overview of Dutch prosecutor statements at next of kin meeting March 7

  1. > Over 100 witness were interviewed by police.

    None of whom were from the crash site. Separatist would know and tell.

    > The police was able to use other information to make sure no other planes flew near MH17.

    But the source of the “other information” does not include the eyewitness, I am pretty sure.

  2. > before the second half of 2016 the exact location the missile was fired from will be known to the police.

    That is a strange statement. It is either known now or not. What sort of new information are they expecting to get, that is not known now but will be known within three months?

    • It could suggest they already have the raw data to get at that result, but the analysis of that data will take time to be completed (and they expect this to happen before the second half of 2016).

      • Can you think of an example of data processing that gives a launch location and takes a couple of months to complete? I cannot easily come up with one. Perhaps they are breaking through a lock screen of an iPhone that contains the only SBIRS image of the launch area.

        • Deus Abscondis // March 9, 2016 at 8:50 am // Reply

          SBIRS “image” is circumstantial evidence without the raw data and processing algorithms. The US may as well give them a photoshop job, they wouldn’t know the difference.

      • sotilaspassi // March 9, 2016 at 1:49 pm // Reply

        I could suggest they have eyewitness of the launch location, just takes time to arrange protection for him/her + get the soil inspected and samples analyzed.

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