MH17 survivors shocked by Dutch nationalist’s crash conspiracy theories
The relatives of the victims killed in the MH17 disaster were shocked by statements made by FvD leader Thierry Baudet in his debate with VVD leader Mark Rutte on Wednesday. Baudet questioned the independence of the Joint Investigation Team's investigation into the downing of the plane. He also said that Ukraine may be behind the attack.
"I have my doubts about the investigation by the JIT. Ukraine is also one of the possible perpetrators of this attack." Baudet said. Almost every time the JIT published some of its findings, Russia quickly responded by questioning the independence of the investigation and pointing the finger to Ukraine. According to Baudet, it is up to the judge to decide who was responsible for the MH17 disaster, and not to politicians to anticipate a verdict and blame Russia.
These statements shocked Stichting Vliegramp MH17, the foundation set up to support the relatives of the MH17 victims. "To be honest, I thought they were scandalous. Mr. Baudet is a representative of the people and apparently excludes a group of many thousands of relatives", Piet Ploeg of the foundation said to RTL Nieuws. "He certainly has not supported us with his story. He said things that are incorrect, without any knowledge about the things he is saying. And what he has done with his comments about the Joint Investigation Team is that he in fact discredited the independence of the JIT."
"We also know that the results presented so far by the JIT enjoy worldwide support. What Mr. Baudet does is soiling his own nest. He makes the Netherlands unbelievable and that does not suit him a s chairman of a large party", Ploeg said.
Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.
The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 - a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. Australia and the Netherlands officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster - providing the missile that shot down the plane - in May last year.
In September Russia held a press conference in which the country said that the BUK missile was indeed made in Russia, but was in Ukrainian hands at the time of the disaster. Russia has been pointing the finger to Ukraine since the disaster happened. In October the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is willing to discuss MH17 liability with the Netherlands, "partly with the goal of looking professionally at the responsibility of Ukraine". The first meetings happened in March.