Any UN tribunal on MH17 crash would operate on ‘automatic pilot’ against Russia
RT: Vitaly Churkin said a tribunal would hardly deliver solid results. Are Churkin’s points valid concerns?
Srdja Trifkovic: Absolutely, because if we look at the actual five countries - it’s the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia, and Ukraine, which have an axe to grind in the proceedings. Of course, Belgium and Netherlands are NATO members; Australia is a close ally of the US. It is greatly to be feared that this investigation will be politically motivated, and that its results are almost preordained.
The second problem is that the experience we’ve had so far with UN tribunals has been mostly unsatisfactory. In particular, I have in mind the international tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, which is a political body par excellence. Let us just recall that it unsealed the indictment against Slobodan Milosevic at the height of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999.
So the combination of the two, on the one side, an investigation which is most likely to be politically motivated and where it is absolutely impossible to even imagine that they would allow the possibility of Ukraine being the guilty party in the proceedings, and then the experience of these politicized tribunals...
RT: You’ve mentioned the older UN tribunals. Vitaly Churkin also said that a tribunal on an air crash would be a first of its kind. So why are there calls for such a tribunal now?
ST: Because the countries are sanctioning Russia, the countries that have a political interest in condemning either Russia directly, or indirectly by establishing “that it was the rebels in eastern Ukraine armed with Russian weapons that downed the plane” - that would be more grist for the mill of the propaganda machine in the Western world.
Let me repeat, the experience with UN tribunals so far is that once the secretary-general has the blank check to appoint the judges and other officials, it is done more or less on automatic pilot in the interest of the predominant political party. And of course Ban Ki-moon comes from South Korea, and we know that South Korea too is a close ally of the US. This would be a propaganda circus with all the attendant media distortions that we’ve seen over the past year and a half.
I think that Russia is well-advised not only to veto the resolution, but to demand the establishment of a truly independent international commission of inquiry that would include representatives of the Russian side. The way this investigation has been conducted so far does not inspire any confidence whatsoever that these findings will be objective and truthful.
RT: You said that if there is a UN tribunal, there will be media distortions that come with it. Do you think that could have any effect on the official investigation the results of which we’re waiting at the moment?
ST: I think that official investigation is also an automatic pilot. Even though the proceedings are secret, once its results are unveiled in October, it’s an even bet that eastern Ukrainian rebels will be blamed, and indirectly Russia, of course. This scenario which is very likely that the Ukrainians themselves were involved - with all the hidden tapes of pre-crash conversations and so on - will not even be tackled.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.