Dutch security services to be grilled over MH17

MH17 wreckage
Investigators begin recovery of Malaysia Airlines MH17 wreckage in Ukraine, Nov. 16, 2014 (ArnoldGreidanus/Twitter). (Investigators begin recovery of Malaysia Airlines MH17 wreckage in Ukraine, Nov. 16, 2014 (ArnoldGreidanus/Twitter))

A Dutch committee will investigate the performance of the Netherlands intelligence offices prior to the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The Commission of Oversight for the Intelligence and Security Services announced their intention to evaluate both the AIVD and MIVD on Tuesday.

The investigation will focus on what the two services knew about the conflict in eastern Ukraine before the Boeing aircraft was shot out of the sky on July 17, 2014. All 298 people onboard were killed, of which nearly two-thirds were Dutch citizens.

Some aviation experts believe believe civilian airspace over eastern Ukraine should have been shutdown as early as May, when a pro-Russian separatists shot down a Ukrainian plane, demonstrating the rebels’ longer-range military capabilities. Research questions will center on how well the two agencies shared information with each other and with other government departments.

The Dutch Safety Board (OVV) investigating the crash asked Interior Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk and Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for the inquest. The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is under Minister Plasterk’s control, while the Military Intelligence and Security Service falls under the Defense Ministry.

Opposition parties D66 and CDA have been pushing for more transparency into the security services’ activities regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine.