The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in Ukraine. Source: Twitter/ @mashable - Credit: The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in Ukraine. Source: Twitter/ @mashable
Wednesday, 8 April 2015 - 13:57
Dutch release hundreds of emails tied to MH17
Dick Schoof, the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security, has released hundreds of documents regarding the flight MH17 disaster after news agencies NOS, RTL Nieuws and Volkskrant appealed to the Freedom of Information Act. The 575 released documents mostly consist of emails exchanged within the National Crisis Core Team after the disaster. The documents, in Dutch, appear below, grouped together according to subject matter by broadcaster NOS. The statements made by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans about the oxygen mask allegedly found on one of the victims are addressed in the emails, with specific reference to it being unclear how the mask was found with the victim, and forensic testing to determine if the mask was actually in use. The emails also discuss how ministries can best communicate with the victims' relatives about, for example, condolence registers, the arrival of the victims remains, the national commemoration and other gatherings arranged for the relatives. RTL Nieuws reports that the government did not release 147 of the requested documents and that important information on the documents that were released have been blacked out. Names, phone numbers and email signatures are redacted from many documents, as well as many unknown bullet-pointed details. Schoof wrote in a letter to the Volkskrant that he is not sharing parts of the information with the public for various reasons. One reason is protecting the privacy of the people who appear in the documents. Another reason is the so-called "internal deliberations" grounds for refusal, which states that pieces of information may not be disclosed as it would make it impossible for officials to have an "unfettered exchange of arguments."