'Military intel must be included in MH17 report despite fears of exposure' – aviation expert

An armed man stands on part of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. © Maxim Zmeyev
The investigation into the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine must make use of evidence from classified sources and can obtain this by addressing potential fears that such information may hurt the parties providing it, an aviation expert told RT.

Julian Bray was commenting on the latest publication by Moscow of what it says is newly discovered radar data from the day the Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014. Russia accused Ukraine and the US of withholding evidence related to the case which it believes them to possess, and said it indicated Ukraine's guilt in the tragic incident.

The reason why the US would not disclose satellite images of the launch of a missile – which Washington claimed implicated rebel forces in the shooting down of the plane but never made public for scrutiny – may be due to fear of exposure of US military secrets, Bray told RT.

“Of course the military on all sides – the Russians, the Americans, and the Ukrainians – all have secrets that they wish to preserve. There is a certain amount of distrust between these parties. Somehow we have to get through this,” he said.

If the images were released, he added, “then it is possible to reverse engineer what you’ve got and try to find out exactly what they have got on the ground, in the air, and into outer space. I am quite certain that the Americans already know exactly who shot what and where, and where it came from, because they have satellites whizzing around all the time, and they will actually have the data.”

Bray suggested that an independent aviation and military expert trusted by all parties should be given full access to the classified evidence relevant to the case. The expert would then decide how this should be redacted and handed over to the Dutch-led investigation, which is expected to present a major update on the course of the probe later on Wednesday.

“Somehow we need to find a way for divorcing the military side from the civil side. It's an interesting situation, but I think it's gone long enough,” he said. “I take my hat off to the Russians for what they've done so far and hope that other people would bring their information to the table.”

The investigation was already compromised by the political stand-off between Russia and the West over the situation in Ukraine, with some experts doubting that the final Dutch report would be impartial.

“I don't trust a word they are going to say. I don't blame the Dutch people. It's a question of a government control by the United States of one of its NATO allies. How can they possibly present themselves as neutral?” political analyst John Bosnitch told RT, adding that the previous incident that carried such political baggage was the Srebrenica massacre.

The Joint Investigation Team, which is carrying the criminal probe into the MH17 case, includes Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The countries signed a non-disclosure agreement, which allows each of them to keep any information they review from being released to the public on security grounds.

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