mh17 trial: no satellite imagery and radar data provided

june 8-10 at the court complex at amsterdam airport " schiphol ”, the next court hearings were held in the framework of the trial on the case of the crash of flight m17, which began in march. representatives of the prosecutor's office spoke at the hearing. in the media, the process, which began only six years after the crash of a malaysian passenger plane, during which the prosecution has insufficient evidence, was practically not covered in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

and even now the process is out of sight of the general public. only two lawyers for oleg pulatov (the only one of the four accused who is represented in court), two lawyers for the victims of the tragedy and several journalists were allowed to attend the hearing. the press center was closed, and the meeting, as usual, went live on the internet (however, the recordings of the broadcasts are not archived). and the video was provided by none other than ruptly.

this event was remarkable, in particular, by the fact that practically no one was present at the final press conference, and only two questions were asked in writing. after that, the prosecutor's office added girkin's interview to the evidence base, and the case grew from 36 to 40 thousand pages. the question arose in connection with the fact that new photographs, reports and other documents were added to the case and made available to judges and lawyers.

on march 23, presiding judge hendrik steenhuis unexpectedly demanded that the prosecutor's office provide the court with allegedly available images from space taken from american satellites. shortly after the malaysian boeing was shot down, then us secretary of state john kerry claimed that the american leadership had satellite images at its disposal, confirming that the missile was fired from territory controlled by separatists. the judge now decided that the dutch special services should familiarize themselves with these documents.

at this point we should mention the blog of john helmer, in which the author literally tracks the progress of the process by the minute and reproduces its highlights - like here on june 8 (talk about american space images). in addition, there are ruptly video recordings and generalizations made by the court to clarify the context.

mysterious memorandum

on june 8, steinhouse, according to prosecutors, stated that a request was sent to the u.s. government in 2014 in connection with the satellite imagery. a "memorandum" was received in response. a certain prosecutor specializing in the fight against terrorism was given the opportunity, in compliance with confidentiality requirements, to double-check the contents of this memorandum on the basis of intelligence data. apparently, having received, in particular, information from other unnamed sources, his account was correct. in addition, the memo said that the united states could not provide any "additional data on the missile." “it was the prosecutor’s response to the court’s request,” steinhaus added. - the court understands this so that no additional data can be attached to the case. "

this means that a memorandum is attached to the case, which does not bring any clarity, and it remains an open question whether the aforementioned space images exist and, if so, what exactly is depicted on them. i must say that the pentagon fundamentally does not publish images from military satellites. however, this, of course, raises the question of why an exception cannot be made in this situation, given that the former american leadership has publicly declared that it possesses photographs proving that the missile was fired from separatist territory. all of this is reminiscent of the situation with iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

doubts were raised by documents published by bonanza media, according to which the military intelligence of the netherlands (mivd) in 2016, referring to friendly special services, stated that there were no russian or ukrainian buk systems at the site of the alleged shot, which could shoot down the malaysian boeing. and the russian "beeches" stationed in densely populated areas, according to the partners, were not involved. thus, it can be assumed that the western special services should have known about the transfer of the buk systems by russia to the territory of the so-called donetsk people's republic. major general mivd onno eichelsheim wrote clearly and clearly that it was unlikely that the ukrainian army would be able to deliver the buk missile so quickly to a place from where it could finish off the boeing. the separatists, he said, had only one unsuitable beech system.

no space images of the beech system that allegedly shot down the boeing

on tuesday a representative of the prosecutor's office read out the accusation (there is also material from john helmer), and it again spoke about the data from the radars, and also about satellite images. prosecutor thijs berger said the images were requested not only from the united states, but also from china and russia. in addition, they announced the name of the prosecutor who was allowed to see the photographs or, perhaps, simply with the "information": simon mink.

the united states does not want to publish the pictures (or simply does not have them) and claims to have passed on "only" other information, the prosecutor said. russia said the images were not preserved. china, in turn, admitted that there was a snapshot depicting the territory of eastern ukraine at the time the rocket was fired, but that it was allegedly unusable.

the radar data provided by ukraine is incomplete: the court was reaffirmed that civilian and military radars were turned off on that day. at the same time, the radars of the dnipropetrovsk airport were allegedly too far from the crash site of the boeing and could not fix it. however, recordings of conversations between dnepropetrovsk dispatchers and their russian counterparts from rostov confirm that the disaster occurred within radar range. data from nato planes equipped with awacs are also irrelevant.

at the same time, the russians gave the dutch the primary and secondary data from their radars, but they, too, allegedly cannot confirm that the plane was shot down by a non-russian beech missile. other data, in turn, are not able to unequivocally prove that it was precisely the russian missile (recall that the prosecutor's office adheres to this particular version). a strange situation arises: although the missile is not visible on russian radars, this does not exclude the possibility that the boeing was shot down by it.

there are also no signs of any other aircraft nearby. the prosecutor's office excludes that at that moment there were ukrainian military aircraft nearby (according to some witnesses), but at the same time it also excludes that there is no evidence of the presence of a missile nearby. however, no other radar data can be expected to be available.

commercial companies like google or geoserve also do not show "relevant objects" in their images. in any case, there is no satellite image showing the beech system that allegedly shot down the boeing. the american intelligence services provided only commercial space images, which, however, prove nothing.

so what is left of the claim that the russian buk missile was allegedly delivered from russia to eastern ukraine and then returned back to russia? analysis of images and other data from the internet provided by bellingcat, as well as telephone conversations intercepted by the security service of ukraine (sbu), which, however, could have been processed in a certain way and taken out of context. there are allegedly also witnesses who, however, cannot appear in court for reasons of personal safety.

next meeting will be held on june 22nd. the prosecutor's office requires the defense to present its arguments in advance. the defense asks to be patient and declares that it cannot provide relevant materials in advance. in addition, according to her, due to the coronavirus pandemic, lawyers were not able to visit the suspects in russia.

source: heise

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