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Published On: Thu, Aug 14th, 2014

Serious Conflicts of Interest in MH17 Investigation led by Dutch Safety Board

nsnbc : The Dutch Safety Board which is leading the investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster in Ukraine published a press release on the status of the investigation. nsnbc asked the Dutch Safety Board for the release of data to independent media and questions about serious conflicts of interest. The answers are not only politically relevant, they are deeply disturbing for the flying public.

The Dutch Safety Board, on August 11, issued a press release pertaining the status of the ongoing investigation into the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine. The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) explained that some 5 aircraft accident investigators have collected as much information as possible in Ukraine, so it was not necessary to stay in Ukraine to complete the investigation and write a report.

The DSB announced that a preliminary report would be published in about a weeks time. It states that this report will contain the first factual finding:

“arising from the investigation based on various sources, such as the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder (the black boxes), air traffic control data, radar and satellite images”.

The DSB stated that this data is currently being compared and will subsequently be analyzed. It adds, that it is unclear whether this information could be supplemented with information from further investigations at the crash site, citing the changed safety situation in Ukraine as reason.

It is noteworthy that the military forces loyal to the post-coup government in the Ukrainian capital Kiev have intensified their military campaign in the region since the crash of MAS MH17 causing a state of emergency in several Russian regions due to the displaced, predominantly ethic Russian or Russian-speaking population. The number of Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced and fled to Russia is estimated to be about 480,000.

The DSB adds in its press release that to “date, under Ukrainian supervision, only a few investigators were able to briefly visit the crash site”.

The statement is in direct conflict with previous statements issued by both the Malaysian government, Malaysian air-crash investigators and OSCE observers who praised the local authorities in the rebelling Donetsk People’s Republic for their cooperation.

These statements were both pertaining the handover of the so-called black boxes, access of OSCE observers and air-crash investigators to the 40 x 40 km crash site, and access of an international police force.

Meanwhile Kiev’s sharply increased military operations after the crash and the U.S. and other key NATO members used the death of the 298 on board the Boeing 777-200 to directly blame the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. The propaganda charade prompted Malaysian PM Najib Razak to leash out at “those behind the geopolitical chess game” that led to the tragedy.

nsnbc has contacted the Ukrainian Ministries of the Interior, of Infrastructure, of Defense, and the Foreign Ministry about access to the raw data from Ukrainian air traffic controllers, radar data, and other relevant information such as the deployment of fighter jets and missile batteries; without receiving any response.

nsnbc contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ask for access to the raw data of the radar images from the Rostov region which showed that a jet with primary radar return only ascended near MH17 shortly before the crash. The radar data also showed that MH17 apparently attempted an evasive maneuver or for other reasons abruptly changed course. nsnbc did not receive any reply.

nsnbc contacted the U.S. State Department about evidence which the U.S. government proclaimed it was in possession of. Evidence which allegedly implicated “pro-Russian rebels”. nsnbc would have liked to know whom to contact to ask for access to this purported evidence. No reply.

nsnbc contacted the Dutch Safety Board before it published its press release and afterwards. The official spokesperson of the DSB, Sarah Vernooij, wrote “Alas, the chairman of the board is not in the opportunity to give any interviews“. She explained that “the chairman was very busy” but answered some of nsnbc’s questions.

nsnbc had previously contacted the DSB and applied for a copy of the “Comma Separated Variable” CSV Files from the flight data recorder of MH17. nsnbc stressed that independent media’s access to the CSV files was important for several reasons.

For one, only an independent analysis of the CSV files can positively identify that the plane in question, or that the flight data recorder was from MAS MH17.

The other reason was that an independent analysis could disclose whether any of the data have been manipulated after the fact.

Finally, it is only an independent comparison of the data from the flight data recorder with Ukrainian and Russian radar data that can disclose whether there was an attempt to manipulate the outcome of an investigation and by whom.

Geopolitical implications set beside, these are questions which should concern all frequent fliers and which according to a professional Danish pilot nsnbc consulted, concern a large number of his colleagues. The DSB’s reply to our questions about independent media’s access to the raw data was:

The first findings will be published in the preliminary report expected in a couple of weeks.  All the information that is necessary and relevant to explain what the cause of the crash is, will be published in the final report of the investigation. The original sources will not be disclosed after publication (not after the publication of the preliminary nor after publication of the final report). This is according to the Dutch law which the Dutch Safety Board works to. (emphasis added).

nsnbc asked how the general public and especially frequent fliers shall trust the independence of the investigation, adding that last time nsnbc checked, the Netherlands was both a member of NATO and of the European Union.

The body of evidence that proves that both NATO and the EU are parties to the conflict in Ukraine which may have led to the crash is overwhelming. We stressed that Dutch authorities hardly can be perceived as “independent” party to the situation in Ukraine which may have led to the crash of the plane. As expected, DSB spokesperson Sarah Vernooij responded:

“The investigation is operated in accordance with the standards and recommended practices in  ICAO Annex 13 and the Dutch law”.

It is noteworthy that nsnbc has contacted to ICAO, among others to clarify such conflicts of interests and ICAO regulations in that regard; The ICAO never returned our phone calls as promised. Ms. Vernooij, however, added:

“The Dutch Safety Board is independent of the Dutch government or other countries and organizations”.

We were so kind not to ask Ms. Vernooj where her pay check is coming from but maintain that only full access to all of the available raw data files for independent media can guaranty that the truth about the tragedy that claimed 298 lives comes to light.

CH/L & F/AK – nsnbc 14.08.2014

UPDATE:  22.08.2014. – On Fiday, nsnbc received the English language translation of  a statement issued by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB). By that time, the DSB should according to previous statements, already have issued a preliminary report. nsnbc responded to the statement with additional questions and a request for additional documentation.

nsnbc will be publishing a follow-up report soon after we receive a response to our extensive follow-up questions to the DSB, or in the case that the DSB fails to respond in a full or timely manner. Please let us reiterate that we, as editors at nsnbc, prefer quality reports rather than quantity and that we investigate as much as our time and resources allow for (see below).

Editor’s note: Please feel welcome to get a free subscription for nsnbc at the bottom of this page. If you subscribe and appreciate our work, please consider a modest monthly donation or any donation you find appropriate. The donate button is in the right column.

Independent investigative journalism is costly, and it is impossible for us to cover our expenses without those who can, to chip in and to donate. That way, we can continue to deliver daily, independent news, analysis and opinion, even to those who earn a dollar per day or less. In the end, independent media depend on you.

About the Author

- nsnbc international is a daily, international online newspaper, established in 2013. nsnbc international is independent from corporate, state or foundation funding and non-partisan. nsnbc occasionally republishes selected articles from other media. Republication of articles does not imply that we agree with media's editorial policy. nsnbc international is free to read and free to subscribe to. We appreciate and depend on modest donations from our regular readers; such as the equivalent of the price of one print newspaper per month.

Displaying 7 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Results of MH17 investiga SECRET. August 8 Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia and Belgium signed agreement not to disclose interim info obtained in the investigation.

    According to UNIAN correspondent in Kiev,in a briefing August 10, Speaker prosecutor Yuri Boychenko said results w/b announced on completion of the investigation only if all 4 countries agree to disclose.
    Any of the signatory countries have the right to veto the publication of results of the investigation without explanation.
    I guess I am not permitted to give you the link to the original Russian. If you want it, see ‘The results of the investigation the death of a Boeing 777 classified’. The link is in the comments.

  2. Benoit says:

    Thank you for doing your job of journalists !

    • nsnbc says:

      Benoit – Thank you for the recognition. It is nice to see positive feedback.

      Penelope Powell – We recognized the non-disclosure deal and covered it by already reporting that the DSB designated the data as “classified”. We will of course go into greater detail about the why, the NL-A-Bel deal etc.. if necessary, later on. Our problem is resources.. both economic, manpower, etc… Thus, we have to limit ourselves to publishing a good article based on investigation, once in a while,- rather than daily reports based on regurgitated Reuters. ;) – Yours, F/AK – nsnbc Donate Button = Right Column. Volunteer Investigators ? write to nsnbc.wordpress(at) Subject Line: Investigator.

  3. early_bird says:

    Royal Dutch Shell recently signed a deal with the ukraine for shale drilling worth $10 billion

    That would be a serious embarassment if the world found out the ukies had shot down MH17 with hundreds of Dutch passengers on board, maybe even a threat to that deal. Fracking has already begun in Slavyansk, the idea being to shell the towns and force the civilian populations to flee so that fracking can begin without the hindrance of housing or people.

  4. SingingSam says:

    Evidence withheld is justice denied. Their reports will be worse than worthless. Their preliminary report is already overdue.

    On whom or what will they pin the blame? On pilot error? On electrical or mechanical failure? On a magical BUK missile that made no smoke?

    Whatever they conclude I know already that it won’t pass the sniff test.

  5. SingingSam says:

    Oh, and let’s not forget this is the same organization that announced on July 25th that they expected to release their first “factual findings” by Aug. 01.

    All we have from them so far is assurance that hell will freeze before they release anything that can be peer reviewed by a third party.

    The truth simply and immutably exists. Lies requires constant maintenance. I’m sure the DSB will continue to harf up some beauties.

  6. andor_1 says:

    I am Russian and I know that all my counterpart were upset when the world crucified us, our president, and our country claiming that “Russians did it”. The RT, “Russia Today”, also works tirelessly trying to get any available information, but the shroud of secrecy is thick… Thank you for not giving up, NSNBC! They promised us the preliminary report would be available at the end of August. Well, here it is, August the 31st, and still no report.

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