Secret MH17 documents: court decision into release more delayed

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A Dutch judge notified Dutch newsstation RTL Nieuws in a letter dated  January 19 2017 about a further delay into the investigation of a possible release of secret state documents on MH17.

The reason for a new investigation is that the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Safety submitted two version of the same 2 documents!

A recap

At October 30, 2014. Dutch RTL Nieuws requests State of the Netherlands to release documents on MH17. The Freedom of Information Act (Dutch = WOB)  request is addressed to the Ministerie van Algemene Zaken lead by PM Rutte.

In a letter dated February 10, 2015 the Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid announced it found 255 documents which match the request by RTL Nieuws. State of the Netherlands  would make a number of documents public but also a number of documents would not be made public. The released documents can be found here. RTL reported about the release of documents here.

RTL Nieuws went to court together with NOS and De Volkskrant to have all documents released. The verdict of the Court was postponed a couple of times.

The complete timeline is discussed here.

Finally at August 29  2016 more documents were released.

However,  reports on meetings of the Special Ministerial and other boards were not released at August 29 2016. The Dutch media will continue the court case against the Ministry of Justice to force the release of these documents as well. Nltimes reports about the reason for not disclosing the minutes of meeting:

The country lawyer that released the documents stated that the unity of government policy would be jeopardized if these reports were released. It would also make Ministers more hesitant to speak freely if the content of their confidential discussions are made public.

Dutch Ministry of Justice stated the following on the motivation to not or partially release documents.

Document 108 and 147 were handed over to court Midden Holland in two different versions.

In a letter dated January 19, 2017 the Dutch Court of Justice Midden Holland has sent to RTL Nieuws, the court states that the investigation into release of documents has been reopened because is was not complete.

The Court found out that documents with id 108 and id 147 which were submitted by the Ministry of Justice and Safety to the Court had different versions. The censored version of each document  and the uncensored version were not identical. The Court ordered the Ministry to again send the censored and uncensored documents to allow the Court to decide if documents 108 and 147 can be released to the public.

Below the letter of the Court which was handed over by RTL Nieuws to



Documents with ID 108 and 147 are minutes of meeting (Dutch : verslag)  of a so called IC and ICCb.

ICCb means Interdepartementale Commissie Crisisbeheersing. In the first week after the shot down it was not documented which persons attended the ICCb meetings. Starting July 25 presence was documented.

IC means Interdepartementale Commissie MH17. Members of this group are: NCTV (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid), Ministry of Algemene Zaken, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ), Ministry of Verkeer & Waterstaat, Infrastructuur en Milieu, Nationale Politie, AIVD, Openbaar Ministerie and Nationaal Kernteam Crisiscommunicatie

Document 108 is called “verslag ICCb 27 augustus 2014, 14:00 uur”

Document 147 is called “verslag IC MH17 30 september 2014”

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