In March 2017 Dutch prosecutor sent a request for legal assistance to the Russian Federation. While the prosecutor did not make public the content of the request, by some research we can be very sure about the request.
In an e-zine made public in May 2017, Dutch prosecution service writes:
Furthermore, the OM reminded the Russian Federation of remarks that had already been made on behalf of the Ministry of Defence during a press conference on 21 July 2014 and which refer to the presence of a second radar station that had covered the airspace at the crucial moment. This concerns a radar station in Buturinskaya. In a supplementary request for legal assistance, the OM explicitly requested the radar data of this radar station as well. Until today, the OM has not received any response to this request.
In a letter to Dutch parliament dated August 16, 2017, Dutch minister writes
Vooralsnog heeft het OM n.a.v. het aanvullende rechtshulpverzoek van maart 2017 geen uitvoeringsstukken van de Russische Federatie ontvangen. Op dit moment overweegt het OM welke stappen moeten worden genomen om de gewenste rechtshulp te verkrijgen.
Until now, the OM (Dutch Public Prosecution Service) has not received documents from the Russian Federation for the request for legal assistance dated March 2017.
At the moment, it is considering what steps should be taken to obtain the desired legal aid.
This post has a timeline of legal requests for Russia.
It is almost certain in March 2017 the Dutch prosecutor explicitly requested Russia to hand over radar images of the second radar station located in Buturinskaya.
There are 3 remarks to be made:
- Russia did not respond to the March 2017 request despite the United Nations resolution forcing all states to cooperate in the MH17 investigation.
- Russia did not hand over all of its radar data of all antennas immediately after the legal request in 2014. . It handed over radar recordings of a single radar antenna in October 2016 after these were found on some hard disks. Initially Russia stated all recordings were deleted.
- Dutch prosecutor waited 2,5 years before it did the legal request explicitly for radar data of the Buturinskaya antenna