Four pieces looking at the MH17 case from different perspectives: South Front, Off-Guardian, the Guardian and John Helmer, in his Dancing with Bears blog.
Published on South Front, June 20 2019
New JIT Briefing On MH17: Political Game Instead Of Real Investigation
On June 19th, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the 2014 crash of the Malaysia Airlines-operated Boeing MH17 in Ukraine held a press conference.
The anniversary of the crash is nearing, so it was really no surprise that another conference took place, this time directly accusing Russia and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for the deaths of the people on board.
The entire press conference can be found here:
Most notably, the JIT announced names of the four suspects who are to be tried for murder:
- Igor Strelkov – 2nd Minister of Defense of the DPR, commander of the Slavyansk garrison;
- Sergey Dubinsky – founder and head of the DPR’s security service between 2014-2015;
- Oleg Pulatov – commander of one of Dubinsky’s reconnaissance subordinates;
- Leonid Kharchenko – commandant of Konstantinovka during the battle for the Slavic-Kramatorsk agglomeration, later headed the DPR Intelligence Directorate.
“These suspects are seen to have played an important role in the death of 298 innocent civilians”, said Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke.
“Although they did not push the button themselves, we suspect them of close co-operation to get the [missile launcher] where it was, with the aim to shoot down an aeroplane.”
Investigators, he added, had “evidence showing that Russia provided the missile launcher”.
Essentially, there was nothing new, the same old accusations. The campaign is on-going, Russia and the DPR were found guilty by mainstream media and Western diplomats a long time ago and the JIT is currently attempting to construct the narrative surrounding the guilty, rather than prove it.
Another interesting fact that the JIT’s announcement was almost a complete repeat of “open-source investigate website” Bellingcat’s claims.
The US, expectedly, immediately jumped on the bandwagon with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Russia to ensure that all the indicted individuals face justice.
“The United States welcomes the announcement today regarding the indictment of four individuals for their role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. This is an important milestone in the search for the truth, and we remain confident in the professionalism and ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to prosecute those responsible in a manner that is fair and just. We fully support the work of the Dutch authorities and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), an independent criminal investigation led by the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement in response to the JIT briefing, categorically rejecting it.
“The statements made by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) at a news conference on June 19 about the alleged involvement of Russian servicemen in the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash were utterly regrettable. The Russian Federation once again finds itself the target of completely unfounded accusations intended to discredit it in the eyes of the international community.”
The JIT further accused Russia of refusing to fully cooperate, which is also contrary to the truth. All findings that Russia presented to the JIT in their various press conference since 2014 until now have been completely disregarded.
“Moreover, the JIT representatives accuse Russia of withholding full cooperation. We categorically deny such accusations. From the very first day of the tragedy, Russia has been vitally interested in finding the truth and willing to help the investigation in every respect. Russia actively cooperated with the Netherlands and presented all information it had on the MH17 crash. In the process, Russia’s relevant agencies carried out an enormous amount of unprecedented work: from declassifying information on Russian military equipment and conducting a meticulous experiment in collaboration with Almaz-Antei, to providing primary radar data and documents showing that the missile that downed the Malaysian Boeing belonged to Ukraine, as well as precision expert analysis proving that the video clips supporting the JIT’s conclusions were fabricated.
Moreover, Russia has suggested working together from the outset. Instead, international investigators excluded Russia from full participation in the JIT, reducing Russian efforts to a secondary role. Meanwhile, they made Ukraine a full participant in the JIT, giving it an opportunity to falsify evidence and completely evade responsibility for failing to close its air space.”
It is showing that even the Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejected on May 30 the JIT’s claims and accusations asking for any evidence at all to substantiate the claims just recently.
Once more, on June 20th he described the JIT’s conclusion a “political plot against Russia.”
“We are very unhappy. From the very beginning, it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing.
“Even before they examined the case, they have already claimed it (the shooting down of MH17) was done by Russia,” said Dr Mahathir to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Department Hari Raya celebration event here.
He said that the “findings” were quite unconvincing.
“As far as we are concerned, we want proof of guilt (that Russia did it). But so far, there is no proof, only hearsay.
“This is a ridiculous thing. Someone shoots a gun and you are not able to see who, but you know who shot,” said Dr Mahathir.
Regardless, the very strained relationship between the JIT-provided suspects alleged in orchestrating the MH17 downing was and is no secret. The claims that Strelkov, Bezler and others were closely cooperating are rather absurd. They very obviously hardly ever had a consensus on issues of defense of Donetsk against the Ukrainian Army advance, but somehow made a very elaborate plan to use a Buk missile and down a civilian airplane, then attempt to blame it on Ukraine.
Rather, the narrative of the US and the British special services continues, blatantly, unapologetically. The black box transcript is yet to be released to the public and seen, currently the only “evidence” presented are claims and accusations of who was guilty, disregarding any evidence provided by Russia and attempting to “investigate” just enough to make it fit the narrative of who is supposed to be guilty, rather than who really is.
Also, is it really a coincidence that the JIT’s briefing took place on the day before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Direct Line?
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- “Where Is the Evidence?”: Malaysian PM Slams MH17 Investigation As Not Impartial And Politically Motivated
- Secret Torture Sites, Assassinations, Political Fraud, MH17 Tragedy And Other Realities Of Modern Ukraine
- Eric Zuesse: “MH17 Turnabout: Ukraine’s Guilt Now Proven”
- Ukraine, UK Claim Russian Press Briefing On MH17 Is Another Fake Story, Disinformation
Published on Off-Guardian, June 19, 2019
Discuss: MH17 “suspects” named
Dutch Prosecutors have finally – five years later – named the first suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the Donbass region of Ukraine in July 2014.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, they are Russian.
Well, three Russians and one Ukrainian.
The announcement was made by Dutch prosecutors at a press conference this afternoon (Wed 19th). The names are Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko. All four have been involved in fighting for the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine since the coup government launched their assault on the region in 2014.
All four are also – allegedly – either ex-Russian soldiers or ex-intelligence operatives. But as we have seen with the Skripal case, and various other incidents in recent years, the mainstream media play pretty fast and loose with accusations of “Russian spy”.
Most telling, perhaps, is the fact that, though all four are Russian or associated with Russia, none are actually officially affiliated with the Russian government or Russian military. Considering the accusations that have been flying around since the incident occurred, this could be considered a cautious first official charge, or even a form of climbdown. A token charge, to refresh the anti-Russia sentiment and distract from other issues.
The charges themselves are largely moot, seeing as the Russian constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens. There will be no trial at which the accused are present, meaning the Dutch prosecutor – if they choose to proceed – will have to try the men in absentia, or hold a ludicrous “inquiry” that mirrors the Litvinenko farce the UK held in 2015.
Within 2 hours The Guardian had 3 stories dedicated to it – including one each by inveterate anti-Russia propagandists Luke Harding and Shaun Walker. This is very speedy writing.
Considering the verbiage dedicated to this subject it is remarkable what information they neglected to include:
- The “Joint Investigation” included the Ukrainian government, who had the power to veto any evidence they chose.
- Bellingcat, the “citizen journalists” who are so involved in this investigation receive funding from the Atlantic Council and the National Endowment for Democracy.
- Just last month Dr Mahathir Muhamad, the Malaysian Prime Minister, stated that Malaysia – despite being home of the airline involved – were denied permission to examine the black boxes.
- He went on to add that the entire investigation was “politically motivated” to “scapegoat Russia”
So, the questions become:
- Can you trust the findings of an investigation of which one of the main suspects was an active member, with veto power?
- How reliable are “citizen journalists” when they are funded by US gov’t backed NGOs?
- Why are they making this announcement now? Is it to stoke anti-Russia feeling, or just a distraction?
- Will there be more charges? Or more sanctions as a result of these charges?
- Was the investigation “politically motivated as Dr Muhamad claimed?
- Will the Dutch prosecute these men in absentia?
- Would that process violate their rights?
This is an open thread, and maybe be subject to updates as the story progresses. You can read our older coverage of MH17 here.
By Luke Harding
Published on The Guardian, June 19, 2019
Three Russians and one Ukrainian to face MH17 murder charges
Four named as first to be charged over death of 298 people on flight downed over Ukraine
MH17: Four suspects named for shooting down plane – video
Four suspects will face murder charges for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, three of them Russians, international investigators have said, with a trial due to start next March in the Netherlands.
Almost five years after the plane was downed over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard, prosecutors said on Wednesday there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges.
The suspects were named as Igor Girkin, a former colonel of Russia’s FSB spy service; Sergey Dubinskiy, employed by Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency; and Oleg Pulatov, a former soldier with the GRU’s special forces spetsnaz unit. All were Russian soldiers previously sent abroad.
A fourth suspect, Leonid Kharchenko, is a Ukrainian. He led a military combat unit in the city of Donetsk as a commander, it was alleged.
Girkin was minister of defence in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR). He was the commander of the DNR when the plane was shot down on 17 July 2014. Dubinskiy served as Girkin’s deputy in the DNR, and Pulatov was Dubinskiy’s deputy. Kharchenko was under their command.
Investigators said the soldiers “formed a chain linking the DNR with the Russian Federation”. This link was how the separatists obtained heavy equipment from Russia including the Buk launcher, which was used to fire at MH17 with “terrible consequences”.
The accused did not “push the button” themselves but were responsible for bringing the anti-aircraft system to eastern Ukraine, it was alleged. They could therefore be held criminally liable for the murders of 298 people, investigators said, adding that international arrest warrants had been issued.
Wednesday’s announcement puts the Netherlands and the international community in confrontation with Moscow. The three Russian suspects are believed to be living inside Russian territory and the Kremlin refuses to extradite its nationals. There is little prospect Girkin, Dubinskiy and Pulatov will appear in court when their trial begins on 9 March next year.
The Dutch chief prosecutor, Fred Westerbeke, said it was not clear how the court would tackle a trial in absentia, saying a “mechanism” had yet to be worked out. Kharchenko, the Ukrainian, is believed to be hiding in the rebel-controlled Donetsk region, beyond the reach of Dutch law, he said.
Westerbeke was scathing about the Kremlin’s alleged role. He said its refusal to cooperate with the Dutch-led inquiry amounted to a “slap in the face” to the families of the victims.
“We now have proof Russia was involved in this tragedy, this crime. One day after 17 July  they were in a position to tell us exactly what happened. They knew. The Buk was used in eastern Ukraine and they knew this. They didn’t give us this information.”
Russia has vehemently denied all involvement in the shooting down of MH17. On Wednesday, it complained of being excluded from the investigation despite “proactively” trying to be involved.
“You know our attitude towards this investigation. Russia had no opportunity to take part in it even though it showed initiative from … the very first days of this tragedy,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.
Reached by Whatsapp messenger, Dubinsky said he had seen the accusations and had no intention of participating in the trial.
“I don’t believe in the objectivity of this investigation,” he said. “Let them say what they will.” He said he would not give testimony either in the Netherlands or from Russia, adding: “I don’t see any point.”
Westerbeke said his team was still seeking new leads. He said he wanted to know about the chain of command in Russia and about the individual soldiers from the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade who crewed the Buk launcher and travelled with it from its base in the Russian city of Kursk to Ukrainian territory.
The investigators revealed a social chat between one of the soldiers and a woman called “Anastasia” on Russia’s VK website. The soldier grumbled about his “first lieutenant” and said he was being sent in a convoy to a “secret location in the west” – Ukraine.
Several intercepted phone calls were played. In one, Girkin allegedly told Sergey Aksyonov, Moscow’s new leader in Crimea, that he urgently needed heavy weapons deliveries from Russia. The call took place on 11 July 2014. This was days before the Buk was secretly shipped across the border, Westerbeke said.
Another phone call allegedly showed Putin’s personal adviser, Vladislav Surkov, talking with Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the Moscow-backed DNR. Borodai specifically requested anti-aircraft missile defences to fend off a Ukrainian counter-attack, Westerbeke said.
The Dutch-led investigation reached its conclusions after interviewing witnesses, analysing satellite images, and sifting through phone calls. The area of investigation in eastern Ukraine was still inaccessible to the team, Westerbeke said, making the process difficult.
The charges were announced at a press conference in the Netherlands by the joint investigation team (JIT), which has been examining the attack. It includes investigators from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
Simon Mayne, whose son Richard was one of 10 Britons killed onboard MH17, described Wednesday’s charges as “brilliant”. He said he felt angry that Russia had refused to cooperate and said it was “uplifting” that the process of law was taking its course.
“Perhaps she should watch this press conference and remember the murder and poisoning in Salisbury and reflect that perhaps she should be trying to tighten sanctions against the Russians, not cosy up to them,” he said.
On Wednesday, the investigative website Bellingcat published new details of individuals allegedly involved in the shooting down of MH17. They include the four suspects named on Wednesday as well as other military commanders and separatist fighters.
Bellingcat’s report claims the military intelligence wing of the DNR played a key role. It was instrumental in procuring the Buk missile launcher that downed the plane, and in arranging its transport to Ukraine from Russia, and back to Russian territory, it says.
At least three of the suspects identified by Bellingcat appear to be dead or missing. They include Eduard Gilazov, missing since July 2015, Oleg Sharpov, who died in November 2014 and Sergey Povalyaev, who died in Russia in January 2016.
MH17 was travelling between Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and Kuala Lumpur when it lost contact with air traffic control about four hours after takeoff.
It was torn apart in midair on 17 July 2014 over territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists, with wreckage spread over a wide area.
The Netherlands and Australia said in May last year that they formally held Russia responsible for the disaster after the findings on the origin of the missile were announced. Of the passengers who died, 196 were Dutch and 38 Australian.
By John Helmer
Published on Dancing with Bears, June 19, 2019
Dutch prosecutors have announced international arrest warrants and criminal charges against three Russians and a Ukrainian whom they accuse of being part of a chain of Russian military and political command leading to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.
The four are accused of acting in the Ukrainian civil war “to gain ground at the expense of the Ukrainian State and its armed forces”; of cooperating together in actions “which ultimately led to the shooting down of the MH17… Although they did not press the button themselves, it is alleged they worked closely together to get the BUK TELAR [anti-aircraft missile] to the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. They are therefore suspected to be held jointly responsible for shooting down flight MH17.”
In the anonymous voiceover of a video clip, presented during the June 19 press conference in The Netherlands, the allegation is reported that there was a Russian chain of command for the deployment of a Buk Telar anti-aircraft missile battery of the Russian Army. “It was through this chain that the suspects were able to get heavy military equipment from Russia to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine. And in this way the BUK-Telar of the 53rd brigade could be transported to the agricultural field in Pervomaiskiy and its missile could be fired with terrible consequences.”
Could isn’t the same as did.
The Australian police official at the presentation expressed “faith in the Dutch legal system”. He made no commitment to the Dutch allegations or to the specific claims against the named suspects. He added: “we will also continue the investigation. The step we have taken today gives us the energy to continue. We will not let go. To progress, we are again appealing for witnesses today.”
The Malaysian government representative refused to endorse the allegations which were announced by the Dutch.
To understand how much, and also how little, has been presented by the Dutch and Australian-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), start by reading this  official summary of the press conference on Wednesday at Nieuwegein.
Four suspects were accused; they were named as Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov, and Leonid Kharchenko. Girkin was identified as a former colonel of the Federal Security Service (FSB); Dubinskyiy and Pulatov were reported as serving officers of the military intelligence GRU. Kharchenko has been reported by the Dutch as having “no military background. He received his orders directly from Dubinskiy and in July 2014 he was commander of a combat unit in the Donetsk region. At that time, there was an armed conflict in that area between pro-Russian fighters and the Ukrainian armed forces.”
The criminal charge and allegation against the four is that they “cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft.”
No evidence was presented of their location at the time of the MH17 crash, nor evidence of their intention, as charged, of “causing the crash of flight MH17” and of “the murder of the 298 persons on board of flight MH17”. The Dutch law cited as the legal basis for the arrest warrants and a trial in court are Articles 168 and 289 of the Dutch Criminal Code. The trial of the allegations has been scheduled for March 9, 2020.
Here is the Dutch law. Note that the two articles require evidence of intention and premeditation to destroy and to kill. The conventional court standard for this evidence in Europe is proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Source: http://www.google.com/ 
Listen slowly and carefully to the speeches which were made at the JIT presentation . No claim can be found in the transcript and recording of evidence of the accused men’s intention and premeditation to attack the MH17.
Fred Westerbeke (right) is the Chief Public Prosecutor of the National Public Prosecution Service in the Netherlands. Westerbeke has been the principal accuser in the JIT process, and his earlier claims have been analysed here . This is what he now claims in his testimony: “Today we will not comment on all the facts that led to the suspicion against these individuals. When it comes to the concrete actions of and our evidence against individuals, the courtroom is the only place where we as the Public Prosecution Service want to speak openly. But we can tell you the following:
“In July 2014, Girkin, Dubinskiy, Pulatov and Kharchenko were active in the armed conflict in Donetsk province. Their common goal during this period was to gain ground at the expense of the Ukrainian State and its armed forces. Anti-aircraft was also used during the fighting. The Public Prosecution Service believes the cooperation between suspects Girkin, Dubinskiy, Pulatov and Kharchenko, their plans and their actions on and around 17 July 2014, ultimately led to the shooting down of flight MH17.
“Although they did not press the button themselves, it is alleged they worked closely together to get the BUK TELAR to the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. They are therefore suspected to be held jointly responsible for shooting down flight MH17.”
“It is possible the suspects wanted to shoot down a military aircraft instead of a passenger aircraft. Even if that is the case, we still hold them accountable for downing MH17. What the suspects actually knew, wanted and ultimately did must be determined by the court in criminal proceedings.
“We realise this brief summary of the accusations does not yet provide answers to many questions, for example about the available evidence. I emphasise that today we only disclose the accusations against these suspects. It is up to the district court of The Hague to pass judgement on these accusations. The suspects have the opportunity to explain their side of the story at the court hearing.”
“We are still waiting for an answer to the question of where the BUK-TELAR, filmed in June 2014 in a convoy of the 53rd brigade in the Russian Federation, was located on and around 17 July 2014. We asked this question more than a year ago. Other questions the Russian Federation refuses to answer. For example, whether suspect Dubinskiy worked for the Russian government in July 2014. These are simple questions that can be answered quickly. We invite the Russian Federation to swiftly answer these and other questions from the requests for legal assistance.”
Source: https://www.om.nl/ 
JIT has also issued an official version of Westerbeke’s evidence in the form of video clips. The second of these presentations alleges there was a chain of command running from the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, where MH17 came down, through each of the four suspects to Moscow. According to Video-2, “it was through this chain that the suspects were able to get heavy military equipment from Russia to the battlefield in eastern Ukraine. And in this way the BUK-Telar of the 53rd brigade could be transported to the agricultural field in pervomaisky and its missile could be fired with terrible consequences.”
In the clip, there is no identification of what “heavy military equipment” the four names were directly engaged in deploying and operating, nor where. Note that the term “could”, used twice over, is conditional and subjunctive. It doesn’t qualify as a crime in the Dutch Criminal Code, Articles 168 and 289.
Peter Crozier (right) is an assistant commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. This is what he testified at the JIT presentation.  “Just like
Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, these representatives of Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom and have expressed their faith in the Dutch legal system. The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has gratefully accepted that faith in the knowledge that a complex international criminal case such as this one will demand a lot from us all in the coming years. As a JIT, we will also continue the investigation. The step we have taken today gives us the energy to continue. We will not let go. To progress, we are again appealing for witnesses today. My colleague Wilbert Paulissen will tell more about that.”
The most detailed presentation of the Dutch evidence of a crime against the four accused came from Wilbert Paulissen (right), Head of the National Criminal Investigation Service of the Netherlands.  Paulissen omitted to say where the recorded telephone conversations he presented as evidence came from, or what chain of custody for that evidence has protected it from tampering or fabrication, before it reached the JIT.
“The call for witnesses I’m about to make,” Paulissen announced, “is intended to achieve maximum clarity about the entire chain of responsible parties. The message we give today is therefore twofold: we’re going to prosecute four suspects, but the investigation into the involvement of other people continues.
“Last year we asked questions about the BUK TELAR and its crew in a witness call. Of course we also put those questions to the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation has indicated that it sees no reason to answer these questions. Even without that cooperation, we made progress in the investigation. Partly for this reason we turn to the public again with questions to which we would like to receive answers.
“We will let you listen to parts from recorded telephone conversations and show you parts from a chat. In this presentation these are shown in English translation. The complete audio files of these wiretapped conversations and the partial text of the chat will be made available on the JIT website.”
“We also previously posted the following conversation of 17 July 2014 at 21.32 hours online. It is a conversation between the suspect Kharchenko and a man, whom he calls ‘Ryazan’ and who addresses Kharchenko as ‘commander’. Apparently, one of the crew members of the BUK TELAR who had just shot down MH17 lost contact with the rest of the crew. Kharchenko orders the crew member to be brought to him. The JIT would like to know who that crew member was.
“This telephone conversation does not demonstrate to which Brigade this crew belongs. The JIT does have evidence from other sources that at that time, Russian soldiers of the 53rd Brigade were present near the border with Eastern Ukraine.
“Many soldiers were active on social media. We now show you a passage from a chat of 2015 in which a soldier of the second battalion of the 53rd Brigade looks back on the summer of 2014.”
“In the months prior to 17 July 2014, the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic requested military support from the Russian Federation on several occasions. These requests were made both by the so-called ‘Prime Minister’ Aleksander Borodai, as well as by the suspect Igor Girkin, the so-called ‘Minister of Defence’.
“We know from our investigation the suspect Girkin was in contact about this matter with Sergej Aksyonov, the Russian leader of Crimea appointed by the Russian government. The Ukrainian peninsula was annexed by the Russian Federation in the spring of 2014.
“Girkin spoke with one of the staff members of Aksyonov on 8 June 2014. In that conversation Girkin asks for military support from Russia, including a good anti-aircraft system with trained personnel. Please listen with us.”
“This conversation of 11 July 2014 shows that there were indeed talks about military support between ‘the prime minister’ of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic and a high government official of the Russian Federation. The anti-aircraft system that was already requested as from June 2014, was actually delivered after 11 July. We would like to know who was involved in the decision-making in the Russian Federation and with what mission the anti-aircraft system was sent to Ukraine.
“The JIT has the following questions: Who decided to send a Russian anti-aircraft system, specifically the TELAR with the 3 and the 2 on the side, to Ukraine? Who decided which persons should be members of the crew? What instruction was given to that crew? Who gave that instruction? Do you have information? Our contact details are listed on the JIT website (www.jitMH17.com). Here you will also find information about our comprehensive witness protection program. Thank you for your attention. We will now proceed with the questions.”
Video-3 was presented to illustrate Paulissen’s allegations. It purports to be a conversation between a Russian soldier and his girlfriend. Watch and listen. 
The voiceover, an official of the JIT, says: “This chat indicates that member of the 3rd battalion [of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade] went west to eastern Ukraine.” The soldier doesn’t say so; his girlfriend is guessing; the soldier replies the guess means she is “not only beautiful but also smart”. The Dutch have presented this conversation to the world as evidence that the Kremlin ordered the shooting-down of MH17.
In this excerpt the voiceover claims: “The JIT has documents regarding the 53rd brigade which show exactly which members were present in July 2014 in the area near the Ukrainian border…Members of the 53rd brigade might know the identity of that specific Telar crew. Those members, and perhaps also people from their immediate environment form an important group of witnesses.”
In English, as in Dutch, the word “might” signifies the subjunctive mood of a verb. The dictionary meaning of subjunctive is that it is a mood of verbs expressing what is imagined or wished or possible.
Toward the end of the press conference  the Malaysian representative present, Mohammed Hanafiah Bin Al Zakaria (right), Solicitor General of the Malaysian Attorney General’s Chambers, was asked how he responded to Prime Minister Mahathir’s criticism  of the JIT claims. A report of Mahathir’s criticism can be read here .
Zakaria replied: “Malaysia would like to reiterate our commitment to the JIT seeking justice for the victims…The objective of the JIT is to complete the investigations and gathering of evidence of all witnesses for the purpose of prosecuting the wrongdoers and Malaysia stands by the rule of law and the due process.” [Question: do you support the conclusions?] “Part of the conclusions [inaudible] – do not change our positions.”