Dutch lawmakers have questioned the course of the investigation into the MH17 crash in Ukraine, highlighting innuendos in the Dutch Safety Board report, and lack of raw data despite US claims of picking up “imagery” as the jet disappeared from radars.
Dutch MPs have held a parliamentary debate on the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 that killed all 298 on board, most of them citizens of the Netherlands.
In particular, the Tuesday discussion focused on the final report into the causes of the incident issued by the Dutch Safety Board last October, and the recent chief prosecutor’s letter which revealed the investigation has no raw radar data, useful footage or satellite images of the missile launch.
During the debate, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government insisted that there was already enough information for a criminal investigation into the crash, while Dutch opposition lawmakers questioned innuendos and a lack of firm evidence.
Among the questions raised by Dutch MPs was an issue concerning raw radar data and satellite imagery that the United States claimed to have in its possession and which it called strong evidence.
“We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar,” said US State Secretary John Kerry in an interview with David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press in July 2014.
The reason why Dutch investigators apparently haven’t seen that data was questioned during the parliamentary debate: “So our question is, why has [it] not been asked what information they had because Kerry literally says: we saw it “disappear from the radar” screens,” said Pieter Omtzigt of the of the Christian Democratic Appeal.
The Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur in response argued that the Safety Board on one hand “stated in their report that they themselves did not ask for this data” while on the other the investigators “were given insight into the information distributed to the by the Americans via the Military Intelligence Services.”
Meanwhile, Washington officials have failed to clarify to what extent alleged US intelligence was shared with the investigation.
“I believe we have collaborated with the Dutch in their investigation,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told RT’s Gayane Chichakyan. “I just don’t know to what level we shared information with them, I’d have to look into that.”
The evidence provided by Ukraine has also raised questions during the debate, in particular the lack of raw radar data, which was unavailable because the military radar was allegedly switched off and the primary civil radar was allegedly on maintenance, according to Kiev’s claims.
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