MH17: Separatists deliberately, seriously hampered investigation

The search for victims at the crash site of flight MH17 has been more seriously hampered by separatists than was hitherto known, according to RTL Nieuws.

The Dutch-Australian search party brought cranes to the disaster area in East Ukraine to lift the larger debris fragments, as there is a chance that there may still be victims within. They were banned from doing so by separatists who have the site under their control.

According to sources close to the investigation the use of more sniffer dogs, divers and drones were also prohibited, RTL Nieuws reports.

The Dutch-Australian search party only spent six days in the disaster area. During this period only 3.5 square kilometers out of the total 60 square kilometers was searched by the party, RTL Nieuws reports. A total of 20 hours was spent searching for victims and important personal belongings.

The deputy chief of the National Police, Ruud Bik, said that the search has not been done according to Dutch standards. This is partly due to the unsafe situation at the scene. Bik went on to say that having someone with a Kalashnikov rifle standing behind you, telling you to can't pick something up or to put it back, made for intimidating circumstances to work in.

Researchers from the Research Council for Safety and the Public Prosecution have not been able to visit the site at all. The investigations into the cause of the disaster and the perpetrators involved has thus been seriously hampered.

The Second Chamber of the Cabinet has meanwhile set 77 questions on the handling of the plane crash.