espingendo la richiesta dell’Ucraina di partecipare all’indagine sull’esplosione di martedì, nella quale sono rimaste uccise due persone, la Polonia una volta tanto offre un esempio di serietà.
Il motivo è duplice: in primo luogo, gli ucraini sono sospettati di essere i responsabili dell’incidente – si tratta solo di giudicare la gravità della colpa, visto che il missile era loro – quindi non possono far parte degli inquirenti; in secondo luogo – ma questa è in realtà la premessa – il governo polacco pare non volere disonorare i propri morti con le balle.
Chi non ha preoccupazioni al riguardo è invece il governo olandese che immola i propri cittadini, caduti insieme all’aereo della Malaysia Airlines abbattuto in Ucraina nel luglio 2014, sull’altare della gloria americana (contro la Russia).
L’ennesima conferma che l’Olanda vende sentenze al miglior offerente è venuta giovedì con la condanna all’ergastolo di tre dei quattro imputati, due cittadini russi e un ucraino, accusati dell’abbattimento.
La prima prova del fatto che si tratta di una sentenza comprata sta appunto nella composizione della commissione di indagine, della quale hanno fatto parte i servizi segreti ucraini. La loro presenza era impropria innanzitutto per una responsabilità oggettiva: l’Ucraina avrebbe dovuto chiudere lo spazio aereo sopra il Donbass che era zona di guerra, e non l’ha fatto. Inoltre con la chiamata a far parte della commissione, essa è stata assolta a priori dalla possibile accusa di essere responsabile dell’abbattimento.
Colpevoli non restavano così che le forze separatiste, e Putin che avrebbe dato loro il missile. L’indagine e il processo sono stati dunque un faticoso lavoro di messa insieme di patacche, che si è certamente avvalso dell’aiuto dei maestri pataccari inglesi. La patacca regina pare essere la falsificazione delle registrazioni delle comunicazioni tra gli imputati, ma tali possono essere considerate anche le testimonianze portate dall’accusa, tutte rigorosamente anonime e segrete.
Il sobrio comunicato del ministero degli Esteri russo mette in luce in particolare i buchi dell’indagine: tra questi, la sparizione dei nastri con le comunicazioni tra la torre di controllo di Kiev e l’aereo; la sparizione anche degli addetti alla torre di controllo quel giorno; la sparizione del rottame con il numero di matricola del missile di fabbricazione sovietica, che provava la sua appartenenza alle forze ucraine; infine il mancato arrivo dall’America della documentazione satellitare annunciata dall’allora segretario di Stato, Kelly. John Helmer che ha seguito attentamente tutte le fasi dell’indagine e del processo, dandone periodici resoconti,qui si limita a sottolineare gli aspetti giuridici che fanno del processo: una farsa, o meglio, un’operazione criminale
Ukraine on Wednesday requested “immediate access” to the site in Przewodow in eastern Poland, where an explosion on Tuesday killed two people.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, said Ukraine has evidence of a “Russian trace,” without providing evidence.
Danilov called for a “joint examination” of the missiles that crashed in Poland, saying Kyiv was ready to hand over information to Kyiv’s partners.
Poland will not invite Ukraine to co-host missile strike investigation
The Polish authorities will not ask Ukraine to co-host the investigation of the fatal missile strike in Poland’s south-east. Warsaw believes the strike was most likely caused by Ukrainian air defense attempting to intercept a missile fired by Russia, according to a senior Polish official.
“The information we have received from the Ukrainian side is of very significant importance to us. However, it is certain that Ukraine, just like any other country, will not be the co-host of the investigation, because this is our, Polish investigation,” Paweł Soloch, an adviser to Polish President Andrzej Duda, told local broadcaster Radio Plus in an interview.
Foreign Ministry Statement on the District Court of The Hague’s verdict on the MH17 criminal case
When determining the verdict, the court decided to ignore the fact that the conclusions of the Dutch prosecutors were based on evidence from anonymous witnesses whose identities had been classified, as well as questionable information and materials provided by an interested party – the Security Service of Ukraine, which had been repeatedly caught giving false and contradictory information. In addition, the defence’s argument that there was no compelling evidence that MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile was ignored. Only the materials that supported the Hague-promoted version were analysed, while the documents, declassified by the Russian Defence Ministry, on transferring the missile to Ukraine, whose serial number was identified on the wreckage at the crash site, were brushed aside.
Similarly, the court did not elaborate on the details of the missile’s launch point. All the facts pointing to the possibility that the missile could have been launched by the Ukrainian army from Kiev-controlled territory were simply dismissed. The primary unprocessed data from Russian radars as well as Almaz-Antey’s reports and the results of a full-scale experiment confirming that the missile was launched from an area controlled by Kiev, were not included in the court case documents. The same goes for the testimony of a number of key defence witnesses.
Meanwhile, Ukraine refused to give the court both their radar information and the records of the air-controllers’ conversations. Moreover, the Ukrainian air traffic controllers who worked on that day and could shed some light on the circumstances of the tragedy, have disappeared without a trace. Such odd behaviour by the authorities of the country on whose territory the plane crash occurred never bothered the Dutch prosecutors.
Images from US satellites taken on the day of the crash could have provided some clarity. However, Washington resolutely refused the judges’ requests to reveal the records or at least to let them look at them under special conditions.
It is still unclear what the most ardent accusers of Russia are concealing. The fact that this has never worried the judges is cause for sincere astonishment.
Surprisingly, since the plane crash, the issue of Kiev’s responsibility for not closing its air space over a combat zone has not been properly scrutinised, even though it is known for a fact that the Ukrainian air defence systems were deployed in the area of the so-called anti-terrorist operation, including the Buk missiles which were in a state of combat readiness, their radar units activated while their crews practiced searching and tracking targets.
These court hearings in the Netherlands have every chance of becoming one of the most scandalous in justice history with its long list of irregularities, discrepancies and questionable arguments from prosecutors, which became the basis for the verdict. It is especially notable that the guilty verdict was delivered to those whose interests were not represented by defence lawyers. The court was unable to rebut Oleg Pulatov’s defence arguments and had to declare him not guilty. We deeply regret that the District Court of The Hague discarded the principles of impartial justice to conform to the current political agenda thus delivering a grave reputational blow to the entire court system of the Netherlands.
MH17 COURT APPLIES DUTCH LAW OF FINGER-POINTING — GUILT BY ASSOCIATION IF THE PERPETRATOR IS RUSSIAN, INNOCENCE BY ASSOCIATION IF PROSECUTOR IS DUTCH OR UKRAINIAN
By John Helmer, Moscow
A former Dutch tax inspector, currently a judge of a district court at The Hague has ruled to convict three men of forming a criminal association for killing 298 passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, on the orders of the Russian military command and government in Moscow. The judge, Hendrik Steenhuis (lead image, right), has ruled admissible the evidence of the crime supplied by Dutch and Ukrainian state organisations and their military officers, intelligence agents, and police. They testified in secret that “no traces of tampering [with evidence] were found”. Steenhuis concluded that “all [telephone tapes and photographic images] were authentic and have not been manipulated.”
He has ruled inadmissible and dismissed all the evidence supplied by Russian organisations because, he said, they are state agencies and “not clear, transparent, entirely unconvincing.”
The convicted men – Colonel Igor Girkin (lead image, left), Colonel Sergei Dubinsky, and Leonid Kharchenko – formed their organisation to commit crimes in the conflict in eastern Ukraine in which the Russian state was engaged on one side, but the judge found no other foreign state was engaged on the other side. He also ruled that the laws of war and combatant immunity for the deployment and operation of arms legally protected the Kiev forces but did not apply to the Donbass army. Accordingly, Steenhuis declared, “due to the lack of combat immunity, the suspects, like any other civilian, were not entitled to shoot at any aircraft, including a military aircraft, and thereby kill the military occupants. The realized criminal act of downing a plane and killing the occupants was therefore already included in the original plan.”
“The court is of the opinion that it appears that although the Buk missile was deliberately fired, it was thought that it was a military aircraft and not a civilian aircraft. To that extent, it must have been a mistake. However, such a mistake does not detract from the intention and the premeditated advice.”
By implication, the Dutch court has ruled that Ukrainian and Russian resistance to the regime change in Kiev of February 2014, the armed struggle for self-determination which followed, and self-defence from Ukrainian air and ground attack was and remains illegal – a Russian state crime because, Steenhuis said, “the Russian Federation had overall control of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] in 2014.”
Steenhuis identified “artillery shelling on Ukrainian territory, which would have been carried out from the Russian Federation from the beginning of July 2014. Witnesses have also testified about Russian equipment with Russian soldiers, which crossed the border, carried out shelling and then drove back.” He makes no reference to shelling or air bombardment by the Kiev forces.
In 16,000 words of Steenhuis’s ruling, Kiev is not mentioned at all; nor Washington; nor the Ukrainian President at the time, Petro Poroshenko (lead image, rear centre); nor US government financing, arms and other aid to the military operations in the Donbass.
By contrast, President Vladimir Putin, his advisor Vladislav Surkov (picture on table), and other “high-ranking persons in the Russian Federation”, are named by the judge as having “provided for financing of the DPR, the supply and training of men and the supply of weapons and goods. In addition, since mid-May 2014, the Russian Federation has had a decisive influence on the filling of high positions within the DPR and has interfered in the coordination of military actions and also taken military actions on Ukrainian territory.”
For evidence of the murder weapon, the judge announced that he accepts a single piece of warhead shrapnel shaped like a bow tie (centre of table), which he said had been recovered from the body of a cockpit crew member. That discovery by Ukrainian and Dutch state investigators has remained undocumented and the chain of custody of the fragment unverified. Steenhuis had no explanation for the disappearance of all 2,600 other pieces of bow-tie shrapnel in the missile warhead alleged to have exploded against the MH17 cockpit.
According to the Dutch Criminal Procedure Code at Section 344a : “[a judge] may not find that there is evidence the defendant committed the offence as charged in the indictment exclusively or to a decisive extent on the basis of written materials containing statements of persons whose identity is concealed.”
As the law to warrant the three convictions, the acquittal of Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Pulatov, three life prison sentences, and award of €16 million in compensation, Steenhuis introduced a Dutch Supreme Court concept called “functional co-perpetration”. Dutch and international lawyers acknowledge this is guilt by association. They note that in international, North American and British law, this cannot be proven with a witness testifying in secret; with evidence gathered by a secret chain of custody and tested in secret; without cross-examination of experts in open court; and by hearsay of one judge referring to another investigating judge whose identity and proceedings have also remained secret.
There is “no possibility of reasonable doubt whatsoever”, Judge Steenhuis declared in his summing-up.
“Joint criminal responsibility is an idea the Americans tried to use at the Yugoslav and Rwanda war crimes tribunals thirty years ago — it’s bogus law”, commented Christopher Black, a Canadian attorney who represented defendants accused in those proceedings.
“By acquitting Pulatov, the only defendant to be represented in court,” comments Dutch jurisprudence expert Alfred Vierling, “the court has done its best to hinder the convicted defendants from taking higher court proceedings to challenge the law and the convictions in the Court of Appeal.”