‘MH17 probe breaks all legal precedents, blows impartiality out of the water’

Annie Machon
Annie Machon is a former intel­li­gence officer for MI5, the UK Secur­ity Ser­vice, who resigned in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incom­pet­ence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler. Draw­ing on her var­ied exper­i­ences, she is now a pub­lic speaker, writer, media pun­dit, inter­na­tional tour and event organ­iser, polit­ical cam­paigner, and PR con­sult­ant. She is also now the Dir­ector of LEAP, Europe. She has a rare per­spect­ive both on the inner work­ings of gov­ern­ments, intel­li­gence agen­cies and the media, as well as the wider implic­a­tions for the need for increased open­ness and account­ab­il­ity in both pub­lic and private sectors.
The reconstructed wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands © Michael Kooren
The supposedly impartial probe into the MH17 crash, which somehow included a victim and one of the suspects as investigators, relied on accounts of alleged witnesses who supported the “American version” of events, believes former MI5 agent Annie Machon.

RT: How reliable is the data that the investigators have based their conclusions on?

Annie Machon: Well, I think the whole case has always been a bit dubious, because the international community was very quick to point the finger at Russia before any investigation had been carried out. And economic sanctions were then taken out against the country, which had yet been proven guilty of anything.

And also the other problem, of course, is that the Dutch authorities were given the chance of investigating this. They’re the victims of the shooting down of MH17. So, again, how often in a major investigations do you have the victims investigating the crime? So that has always been very dubious in my view.

In terms of the evidence that has not come out. It’s all very murky about who precisely pointed that missile, who precisely pulled that trigger.

RT: Can the probe really be said to have been impartial given that Ukraine’s on the investigating team?

AM: I think it blows any idea of impartiality out of the water. Ukraine has been fully involved in this investigation, which gives them a chance to obfuscate, or cover up, or produce fake intelligence and fake evidence. And Russia although trying to present as much information and evidence as they can about the nature of this missile, produced by the Russian country two decades ago, has been largely blocked from the investigation.

What we need is a proper impartial internationally recognized body that can carry out a proper impartial evidence-based inquiry into this. And until such an inquiry happens and it comes out with cast-iron evidence and a verdict, really no country should be penalized for this appalling terrorist attack.

The other question, of course, you have to ask ‘Who benefits?’ “Qui bono?”, the old Cicero quote. And it certainly didn’t benefit Russia. But it certainly did benefit those who were keen to back the coup, that occurred in Ukraine two years ago. And we know as well that the Americans and the Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland were crowing about this, after the democratically elected government was overthrown two years ago and an American puppet was put in place. And they also brushed aside the EU’s concerns around the damage the sanctions they have been forced to impose on Russia having on their own economies. And, you know, Victoria Nuland way famously in that hacked telephone conversation to one of her colleagues said then “F**k the EU!” That’s the position of the US.

RT: The joint team received a secret report from the US – which reportedly includes satellite images. Why has Washington never made that data public? Especially if it is conclusive evidence?

AM: I honestly don’t know why they haven’t made this public. Everyone knows that there is a global surveillance network, run largely by the US and supported by its allies in NATO. So, yes, everyone would assume that what was then a very sensitive region of the world, in Ukraine post-coup, would have endemic, a blanket surveillance, both from satellites and also intercept and electronic surveillance going on at that crucial junction in history.

So yes, if they really are surveilling like that, they must have a ton of evidence about what actually happened to MH17. After the deaths of hundreds of people in that attack the very least they could do would be to release some of that evidence, so people can see with their own eyes what exactly happened. The fact they are not doing that, the fact that Russia has released the evidence they have actually again makes the whole thing very very dubious.

RT: Russian primary radar data was submitted to the investigators. Why was it not taken into account? Isn’t this data crucial to the investigation?

AM: Of course this data would be crucial, it would be the evidence of exactly what happened. What trajectory this Buk missile was supposed to have taken, from which territory was it fired. And the makers say that the trajectory that they would assume that this Buk missile could take, shows it came from the southwest, not from the east, which would imply it was Ukrainian forces who fired the missile, not necessary the Russians.

It doesn’t seem there’s any concrete, sworn to evidence from the so-called eyewitnesses, there’ve also been many many reports of course of limited credibility, in the same way as these other eyewitnesses, that perhaps there were fighters in the sky, that might have shot down the plane or other people saying they saw the trajectory of the missile coming from the different direction.

Now why is one group of witnesses, who supports the American version of what happened, have been included in this official report and not these other witnesses?

So again, it just breaks all legal precedents, they are not having a proper forensic investigation into a terrible tragedy, and the families deserve that.

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