Friday, 3 April 2015 - 08:49
MH17 investigation leading to top Russian officials: report
According to the Public Prosecutor, the Dutch investigation team that is coordinating the investigation into the downing of flight MH17, will soon be going to Russia to look for evidence, NOS reports. On Monday the Public Prosecutor released a call for witnesses in eastern Ukraine. This call included recordings of tapped telephone conversations. The Public Prosecutor edited out names in these recordings, for the safety of the people involved, but did state that the calls were between "separatists". The Ukrainian secret service SBOe already released one of these recordings shortly after the disaster, and identified one of the speakers as the former Russian soldier Sergej Nikolajevitsj Petrovski. This specific conversation between Petrovski and some one called Boerjat is about the transport of a BUK missile system. Justice has strong indications that MH17 was shot down with a BUK. The conversation seems to indicate that Petrovski played a key roll in both the transport of the missile system to the front and the operation that brought the material back to Russia. Petrovski left the Russian army in April 2014 to join the separatists in eastern Ukraine. Correspondent Gert-Jan Dennekamp told the newspaper that Petrovski said in an interview that he could no longer bear the suffering in Ukraine, which is why he reported at an office of the Donetsk People's Republic in Moscouw. Petrovski is also sometimes referred to a sthe deputy defense minister of the Republic of Donetsk. According to Dennekamp, he is believed to be a good friend of Igor Strelkov, who was the defense minister there for some time. Strelkov is also from Russia and is currently staying in Moscow again. Moscow is still denying that Russian soldiers are involved in the conflict in the Ukraine, but has admitted that volunteers have chosen to fight alongside the rebels. According to the Public Prosecutor, the Dutch investigation team sent a letter of mutual assistance request to the Russian after the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing. Last week Moscow denied ever receiving such a request, but according to the Public Prosecutor, an investigation team will soon be going to Russia. According to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, the fact that one of the people that was possibly involved in the disaster has been identified as a Senior Russian officer, shows that the investigation team is working hard on the investigation. Rutte would not go into the matter any further. "The investigation happens in an independent international investigation team coordinated by the Netherlands.", he said according to NOS. Rutte believes that the investigation runs best when politics interfere as little as possible. Rutte reiterated that it is still one of the Cabinet's top priorities to bring those responsible for the disaster to Justice. Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice also said that he will do everything to make the prosecution and trial of the perpetrators possible.