Posts Tagged ‘Dutch prosecutor’

Dutch prosecutor does not rule out possibility of Ukrainian fighter having shot down MH17

October 27, 2014

A few weeks ago I speculated that the finding of a deployed oxygen mask on one of the victims gave some credence to the theory (favoured by Russia) that it was a Ukrainian fighter which may have shot down the ill-fated MH17 aircraft.

The point apparently is that if the aircraft had been brought down by a Russian ground-to-air BUK missile – fired by the rebels – then the aircraft would have failed catastrophically and there would have been no time for the oxygen masks to deploy. All on board would have died almost instantaneously.

If instead MH17 had been brought down by a Ukrainian fighter jet – as the Russians suggest – then the air-to-air missile would not have been as immediately catastrophic as the much more powerful BUK missile. Then there may well have been time for some of the oxygen masks to deploy – even if the aircraft was later “finished off” by cannon fire. ….. 

But the bottom line is that if there was time for the oxygen masks to deploy then it is more likely that a Ukrainian jet was responsible rather than a BUK missile.

Now in an interview with Der Spiegel, the Dutch prosecutor does not rule out the possibility that MH17 may have been shot down from the air.

Der Spiegel: In an interview, the Dutch official leading the investigation of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine addresses reports that German intelligence is convinced the plane got shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

Fred Westerbeke, 52, is the chief investigator with the Dutch National Prosecutors’ Office, which is currently looking into the circumstances behind the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17.

SPIEGEL: High-resolution images — those from US spy satellites, for example — could play a decisive role in the investigation. Have the Americans provided you with those images?

Westerbeke: We are not certain whether we already have everything or if there are more — information that is possibly even more specific. In any case, what we do have is insufficient for drawing any conclusions. We remain in contact with the United States in order to receive satellite photos.

SPIEGEL: So you’re saying there hasn’t been any watertight evidence so far?

 Westerbeke: No. If you read the newspapers, though, they suggest it has always been obvious what happened to the airplane and who is responsible. But if we in fact do want to try the perpetrators in court, then we will need evidence and more than a recorded phone call from the Internet or photos from the crash site. That’s why we are considering several scenarios and not just one.

SPIEGEL: Moscow has been spreading its own version for some time now, namely that the passenger jet was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. Do you believe such a scenario is possible?

Westerbeke: Going by the intelligence available, it is my opinion that a shooting down by a surface to air missile remains the most likely scenario. But we are not closing our eyes to the possibility that things might have happened differently.

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