‘MH17 Dutch investigators not interested in Russian side witnesses’

Local workers transport a piece of wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 at the site of the plane crash near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine November 20, 2014. (Reuters/Antonio Bronic)
The main problem is that the official MH17 investigation doesn’t appear to be a truthful and honest one, Joost Niemoller, Dutch journalist and author of "MH17: The cover-up deal" told RT’s “In the Now.”

Russian investigators have released a video of a key witness into last summer's MH17 tragedy, a Ukrainian air force mechanic named Evgeny Agapov who provided investigators with his testimony. Russian investigators say he voluntarily crossed into the country and was willing to cooperate with the investigation. He was given a lie detector test and is now under Russian government protection.

RT:What do you make of this Russian leak - they say they decided to reveal the witness following false reporting in the media about the MH17 crash. Is this an attempt to challenge reports that don’t fall in line with the Russian point of view?

READ MORE: Russian investigators reveal identity of key witness in MH17 crash

Joost Niemoller: No, I don’t think so. If you think this way, you believe that everything is just for the media. What’s missing in this story is an important thing, and that was the reaction of the Dutch investigators. There was this witness coming up, telling his story and after that I didn’t hear anything from the Dutch investigation. They didn’t seem to be interested in speaking to this person. And now he is in a Russian protection program and some news coming out from the Russian Investigative Committee. It’s getting very complicated. Now you get the idea that there are two investigations going on: A Russian and a Dutch, or a Ukrainian and a Dutch. I think that’s a big problem.

I’ve heard more witnesses coming up, some of them are saying their names and saying their place, I know of three persons now in total. And from those last two I’ve heard that the Dutch investigators were not interested at all in speaking with them, and their stories were all more or less the same. One of the people said, “I was standing there, at the crash site, and I saw a jet flying over.” He was very eager, with lots of details in his story. And he also said that the Dutch investigation was not interested. He was going to the Dutch investigators… and they said, “No, we are not interested.”

The same story goes on with a Ukrainian soldier who was working on a BUK installation and he has got his whole story again, his name and place, etc. You can find him on YouTube, he is now in Russia too. And the same with this story; the Dutch were not interested in it. I think that’s the main problem, it’s not so much that Russian media are saying this and then again Western media are saying that… The main problem is how the investigation is going at the moment. Is there a truthful, honest investigation? I don’t think so at the moment.

A crane transports a piece of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 wreckage at the site of the plane crash near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine November 20, 2014. (Reuters/Antonio Bronic)

RT:What leads you to believe that, aside from the fact that they’re not trying to access these witnesses even if they are coming from the Russian side, but that it is taking so long to reveal anything about this investigation?What makes you think it’s not being done in the best way possible?

JN: The essential problem is that people say when you look at the media this is an investigation led by the Dutch. Well in fact it’s not led by the Dutch. It’s led by Ukrainian investigation together with the Dutch people. I’m not making this up, you can find it in the official papers, it’s delegated from Kiev to the Netherlands for a period of a year. It’s a very good question: Why is it taking so long? It is taking so long in my opinion because they are not finding what they were looking for. And that must be a BUK, a rocket installation from the separatist side. And they are not finding anything truthful about it. So now you get all these stories in the media, especially in the Western media.

READ MORE: MH17 likely downed by old BUK-M1 missile system not used by Russia – manufacturer

RT:But even the Russian investigators say it could very well have been a BUK missile.

JN: Well, you say Russia investigators, but I only heard it from the builders of a BUK installation and they also said that it could also theoretically be a jet or anything else. But they have some ideas that it could be a BUK from the Ukrainian [side] and they have their own…And also they have the so-called ‘leaked’ report, a secret report from Russian people. But then again, I have some problems with that because is it really leaked, really secret, what’s the connection with the Russian government? This is also very fake. When you look at the Western media you always see “the Russians think this or the Russians think that,” but when you look better at the source it’s not an official Russian point of view. The only official point of view we have got so far is the press conference on July 21 last year. That was the last official standpoint we could hear. It’s very hard to believe anything about this.

RT:Moscow is calling on the US to reveal information from its satellites that were monitoring East Ukraine at the time of the crash. Surely Washington would pass its findings to the Dutch investigation?

JN: The Netherlands has been asked a lot of questions in the Chamber about this and the government didn’t say anything officially. They didn’t say they had seen it and they didn’t say they hadn’t seen it. We have no idea but I don’t think there must be a very clear photo because it was very cloudy. I assume you won’t see very much on that photo. The Americans said you could see where it was launched, etc. But when you see the clouds there, I don’t think you could see very much, and I think that’s the reason they don’t show it.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.