Les procureurs de l'Australie, de la Belgique, de la Malaisie, des Pays-Bas et de l'Ukraine (Joint Investigative Team, JIT) ont rendu publiques cette semaine leurs conclusions préliminaires sur la destruction de l'avion malaisien MH17 le 17 juillet 2014 au dessus de l'Est ukrainien (Oblast de Donetsk) qui a fait 298 victimes. Ces premières investigations n'avaient pas pour objet d'identifier les responsables de l'attaque, mais de déterminer les circonstances de l'incident de manière à faciliter cette enquête ultérieure. Les conclusions ont néanmoins progressé par rapport à la première expertise de 2015 (bureau de sécurité de l'aviation civile néerlandaise) qui avait écarté l'origine accidentelle de l'incident et désigné le type de missile utilisé grâce, notamment, aux fragments recueillis sur le corps des pilotes
Elle avait décrit l'explosion en la situant par rapport à la position de l'avion. Les procureurs ont, quant à eux, déterminé le lieu d'où le missile avait été tiré et l'origine de cette arme. Le missile, transporté par un camion spécial, était venu de Russie et y était rapidement retourné après le tir. Tous les observateurs le savaient déjà, puisque le déplacement du camion n'était pas resté inapperçu. Comment le pourrait-il dans une zone aussi peuplée ? Les procureurs signalent qu'une centaine de personnes pourraient être impliquée dans cette affaire. Apparemment vague et anodine, cette indication qui n'est pas nouvelle accrédite l'idée d'une chaîne de commandement. Quoiqu'il en soit, les conclusions des procureurs orientent la suite de l'enquête vers la Russie et en Russie.
Précisément l'aboutissement d'une procédure judiciaire à l'encontre des personnes impliquées dans l'attaque ne serait pas envisageable sans la collaboration loyale de la Russie à laquelle personne ne croit à première vue. Les conclusions du JIT ont provoqué un incident diplomatique entre les Pays-Bas et la Russie et conduit à la convocation des ambassadeurs respectifs. La Russie maintient avec aplomb ses dénégations et l'accusation de la responsabilité de l'Ukraine. Elle trouvera même des personnes prêtes à croire à ses affirmations. La délégation russe bloquera toute initiative d'un nouveau projet de résolution au Conseil de sécurité. Ainsi l'incident du MH17 est un aliment supplémentaire nourrissant la frustration et les tensions à l'égard de la Fédération de Russie, mais les familles des 298 victimes n'obtiendront vraisemblablement pas justice et l'une des pires atteintes à la sécurité des transports aériens ne sera pas sanctionnée.
Toutefois la Résolution 2166 du 21 juillet 2O14 demande aux Etats de coopérer dans l'enquête judiciaire internationale. Il est probable que les enquêteurs auront à un moment donné des questions très précises à poser à la Russie. On peut donc s'attendre à ce que les discussions soient vives au Conseil, notamment au sujet de l'existence d'une obligation à la charge de la Russie et du contenu de cette obligation supposée. Ces discussions ont d'ailleurs déjà commencé au moment de l'élaboration de la résolution et, plus tard, lors du rejet du projet de résolution relatif à la création d'un tribunal international spécial :
SENTINELLE, Bulletin n°445 du 20.09.2015 Conflit en Ukraine : Les modalités de la poursuite des responsables de crimes de guerre, Pr. Philippe WECKEL
Today the ministers of Foreign Affairs of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands met in New York to discuss the ongoing efforts to establish justice with regard to the downing of flight MH17 on July 17 2014 which cost the lives of 298 people. The ministers represent the countries whose investigation authorities cooperate in the criminal investigation, which was called for in UNSC resolution 2166 (2014).
The ministers recalled the demand by the Security Council, in resolution 2166, and the determination of their own governments, that those responsible for the downing be held accountable. They further recalled the Security Council's demand that all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability.
In this regard, the ministers reiterated their strong support for the international and independent investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team, which will present its interim results on the 28th of September.
The ministers also discussed the progress made with regard to a prosecution mechanism, given the veto in the UNSC in July 2015 for a UN-tribunal. The countries remain fully committed to take effective measures to hold those who are responsible to account. There must be justice for the families and loved ones of those killed on MH17.
'This morning the families of the victims of the MH17 disaster were briefed by the Joint Investigation Team on the initial findings of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17. These findings concern the weapon used to down flight MH17, the location from which it was fired and the Buk missile system's route of transport.
The government greatly appreciates the work that has been done. According to the investigative authorities, this is information that can be used as evidence in criminal proceedings. This is a big step towards the ultimate goal: tracking down the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Step by step we are getting closer.
The criminal investigation is still in full swing. The international investigation team - the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and police, and the investigative authorities of Australia, Belgium, Ukraine and Malaysia - are still conducting an extensive investigation into the individuals who can be held responsible.
It is essential that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) be able to continue its work with total independence, with focus and determination and without any political interference.
The investigation is asking a lot of the victims' families, for whom answers cannot come quickly enough. Patience is a lot to ask of people who can face grief, disbelief and anger on a regular basis. We are always mindful of that struggle. We will continue to stand side by side with the victims' families. Working alongside the other JIT countries and with the broad support of the international community, we will continue striving to ensure that those responsible for the MH17 disaster do not escape justice.'
Today, thanks to the excellent and painstaking work of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), we are a step closer to the truth behind the downing of flight MH17. My thoughts are now mainly with the victims’ next of kin, who continue to live with the loss of their loved ones after this terrible tragedy, which is once again all over the news. It will only be possible to speak about criminal responsibility once the final results of the investigation are in. Gradually the net is closing, as the investigation continues.
‘The support shown by the international community for the JIT’s work has been heartening for many of those involved. Today, I received messages of support from the EU, the UN, the US, the UK and Germany. Other countries and international organisations have also shown their appreciation and support for the JIT’s investigation. But we still have a long way to go. Today was an important milestone. The Public Prosecution Service will press on with its efforts to identify those responsible for the downing of MH17, and the government will remain fully committed to ensuring that they are brought to justice.
‘The JIT investigation is now focusing on individuals, and as soon as we know who the perpetrators are, we will turn our attention to what the implications are for individual countries. The Dutch government will not seek to complicate or influence the criminal proceedings in any way whatsoever. I emphatically call on all countries, including Russia, to carry out UN Security Council resolution 2166, which demands that those responsible be held to account and that all states cooperate in achieving this goal. No country is exempt from that obligation.’
Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders summoned the Russian ambassador on Friday, following comments by Russian Federation officials regarding the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17.
Responding to the presentation of the initial findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), spokespersons for the Kremlin and the Russian foreign ministry and defence ministry questioned the professionalism, integrity and independence of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. The Russian ambassador was informed that unsubstantiated criticism like this is unacceptable.
‘Given the convincing nature of the evidence, Russia should respect the results that have been presented, rather than impugning the investigation and sowing doubt,’ Mr Koenders said. The Dutch foreign minister also called on Russia to continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and subsequent prosecution and trial, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2166. Earlier this week the international community welcomed the first results of the criminal investigation, as well as the professional and independent approach taken by the JIT.
Mr Koenders’ meeting with the Russian ambassador took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague.
Today a Joint Investigation Team composed of representatives of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, and Belgium presented the preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
The publication of this information is an important milestone towards our ultimate common goal: bringing to justice all those responsible for downing the aircraft. It is our moral duty to the 298 victims and their relatives and friends.
It is important to underline that the preliminary results of the criminal investigation have confirmed the findings of the technical report published last October by the Dutch Safety Board, namely, that the crash was caused by the explosion of a warhead launched from a “Buk” anti-aircraft missile system.
All other possible causes of this horrible tragedy were considered and rejected during the course of the criminal investigation. This puts an end to all of Russia’s attempts to discredit activities of the Joint Investigation Team and conclusions by spreading distorted or fabricated information.
Today’s report also includes a new and very important element: information about the route of the weapon, via which it was transported to Ukraine from Russia and then moved in the opposite direction through a sector of the Ukrainian-Russian border controlled only by Russia and its militants.
This information once again points to the direct involvement of the state-aggressor in downing the aircraft. An investigation into specific suspects’ affiliation and place in the chain of command is ongoing in order to submit the cases to the appropriate court in the near future.
Of course, the most effective method of prosecution would be to establish an international tribunal under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council. Despite broad international support for this idea, Russia was the only country to veto a resolution on the establishment of such a mechanism in the UN Security Council. In this regard, the states involved in the investigation continue to work to identify the mechanism through which those responsible for the catastrophe will be brought to account.
Ukraine and the four other countries concerned will continue to provide full support to the Joint Investigation Team and do everything possible to facilitate criminal investigation.
Successful completion of the investigation requires the continued support and cooperation of the countries, as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 2166 (2014).
We call on all countries to cooperate with the criminal investigation. We expect that Russia, under pressure from the international community, will finally begin to fulfil UN Security Council Resolution 2166 as well as its international obligations.
28 septembre 2016
Cet après-midi, l’équipe commune d’enquête (Joint Investigation Team, JIT), qui se compose des autorités nationales d’enquête des Pays-Bas, de l’Ukraine, de la Malaisie, de l'Australie et de la Belgique, a présenté les résultats provisoires de l’enquête judiciaire sur l’abattage du vol MH17 en Ukraine. Celui-ci avait coûté la vie à 298 personnes. Le Vice-Premier Ministre et Ministre des Affaires étrangères Didier Reynders salue les résultats de cette enquête indépendante et constate que le JIT a fait d’énormes progrès.
La communauté internationale doit soutenir l’enquête judiciaire sur l’appareil MH17 abattu en plein vol. Le ministre Reynders appelle tous les pays à collaborer pleinement dans cette enquête, suivant ainsi la résolution 2166 (2014) du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies. La poursuite en justice des responsables est nécessaire. Les pays participant à l’équipe d’enquête commune continuent de travailler pour élaborer une manière efficace pour poursuivre les responsables.
La Belgique poursuivra ses efforts pour faire la lumière sur tous les faits, afin que la justice puisse être rendue de manière indépendante, honnête et transparente pour les victimes et leurs familles.
5. Union européenne
The tragedy of flight MH17, in which so many lives were lost just over two years ago, remains a constant source of sorrow and sadness for the European Union.
Today's interim results of the independent criminal investigation, presented by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), demonstrate that important progress has been made, answering many questions that have borne heavily on those who lost their loved ones on 17 July 2014. The JIT's work as regards individual suspects continues; it is crucial that the investigators can complete their work, independently and thoroughly.
To ensure that those responsible for the downing of MH17 are held accountable and brought to justice, the criminal investigation needs the continuing support of the international community. All States that are in a position to assist the investigation and prosecution of those responsible must do so, as demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 2166.
The European Union reiterates its full support for the work of the JIT and welcomes the progress made by the countries involved on an effective prosecution mechanism. The victims of MH17, their friends and their families deserve independent, fair and transparent justice to be served.
MAE - Déclarations officielles de politique étrangère du 29 septembre 2016, Ukraine - Vol MH 17
La France salue la publication du rapport de la commission d'enquête conjointe concernant la destruction du vol MH17. Il constitue une étape décisive dans l'établissement des faits et des responsabilités qui ont conduit à ce crime odieux.
Nous appelons la Fédération de Russie à coopérer à l'enquête qui doit se poursuivre dans les prochains mois, conformément à l'invitation qui lui a été faite, de manière constructive et transparente.
La France se tiendra aux côtés des États membres de la commission d'enquête conjointe pour faire en sorte que les responsables répondent de leurs actes devant la justice, conformément à la résolution 2166 adoptée le 21 juillet 2014 par le conseil de sécurité des Nations unies./.
John Kirby, Spokesperson, Daily Press Briefing, Washington, DC, September 28, 2016
On Ukraine and the MH17 report, as you saw, we issued a statement on this earlier today. I want to reiterate, however, that we are gratified that the Netherlands and other members of the joint investigation team are objectively and thoroughly investigating the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The team’s interim findings corroborate Secretary Kerry’s statement in the days following the tragedy and leave no doubt that MH17 was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile, fired from territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists. We also note the JIT’s – the joint investigation team’s finding that the missile launcher was first brought into Ukraine from Russia and then moved out of Ukraine and back to Russia after the shoot-down.
And while nothing can take away the grief of all those who lost loved ones on that very terrible day, the announcement – this announcement is now another step toward bringing those responsible for this outrage to justice.
QUESTION: MH17. Investigators noticed that Russia was involved in this case and the – in your statement you draw attention to this that the BUK system was tracked in from Russia and returned to Russia after shooting down the plane. Investigators also said that they identified hundred people responsible for these actions. So what is your line regarding specific role of Russia and Russian Government in that case?
MR KIRBY: Again, our assessment, which is consistent with the investigation team’s assessment in this interim report, is that the airplane was shot down by a BUK surface-to-air missile that was fired from separatist-controlled – not government-controlled – territory in eastern Ukraine. And it also makes clear that that missile system was transported from Russia into Russian-backed separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine before the incident, and then move back out to Russia after the shoot-down. And this is the result of months-long – what, 15 months? Something like that – long, thorough, impartial, credible examination of the incident. And it totally comports with what the Secretary said just a few days after the incident happened. But the investigation is ongoing. This is an interim report. We’re glad that they continue to investigate, and we look forward to seeing the results when they’re completed.
QUESTION: Just to – excuse me, just to follow up on that. I mean, what sort of, if any, next steps will you be taking? Will you bring this up with the Russians? I mean, what – I mean, if any – do you have a plan going forward now?
MR KIRBY: Well, again, it’s an interim report. I think we need to let the investigation conclude. I don’t want to get ahead of decisions right now while they’re still investigating. All the indications are, as I said, comport with what our views were of the incident, and we’ll just have to see how it plays out. Have we had conversations with Russian counterparts since this incident about our concerns about this narrative, about our views? Absolutely we have. Absolutely we have. But I’m not going to get ahead of anything yet.
QUESTION: You welcome the conclusion of the report. I – have you – are you aware of the Russian response to the conclusions?
MR KIRBY: Yes.
QUESTION: And what do you make of the Russian reaction to it?
MR KIRBY: We’ve seen their response. I think we hold it to be completely without merit and absolutely not in keeping with the findings of the interim report, and certainly not in keeping with what our own understanding was even just days afterward.
QUESTION: Do you want to – I’m wondering if you can kind of look at this in a bigger context given what you’ve accused Russia of doing in Syria with its air force and what you’re talking about in terms of this report. I’m wondering if you have any larger kind of thing to say about Russian actions in these type of conflicts.
MR KIRBY: Here’s what I would say, more broadly speaking: A lot of the tensions that we’re dealing with are the result of Russian decisions. Decisions made in Moscow to destabilize areas of the European continent, to prop up a brutal dictatorship in Syria. These are Russian sovereign decisions that they also should have to speak to and aren’t necessarily being challenged by media in their own country, to face up to these decisions that they’re making. That said, I work for a man who, I think you all know, believes in the power of dialogue and diplomacy. And – and he has said many times that where there are areas where we can cooperate with Russia, we’re going to explore those opportunities. The Iran deal was one of them. And up until lately, I think we really believed that Syria was one of those; obviously having significant doubts about that now going forward. But he’s not afraid to try to find common ground where it can be had, and where we can work with Russia on things.
Obviously, Ukraine is one of those areas where we continue to have major disagreements with the Russian approach, and that is why the sanctions regime stays in place, because Minsk isn’t fully implemented, because Russia hasn’t fully implemented their side. Now, I understand there’s Ukrainian obligations on that, and we’re working closely with them towards that end, and they have implemented many steps. But Russia has significant choices and decisions to make. They’re decisions that will either further isolate them from the international community or help to facilitate a better integration with the international community.
On Wednesday 28 September the Joint Investigation Team, which comprises investigators from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, announced the first results of its criminal inquiry into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014. This follows a technical investigation by the Dutch Safety Board in 2015, which concluded that the aircraft was brought down by a Russian-made Buk missile system and indicated that the missile was launched from separatist-held territory.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:
Today’s progress in the investigation is an important step towards securing justice for the 298 people who lost their lives and for their families and friends who continue to deal with this awful tragedy.
The investigation is essential to ensure that those responsible face prosecution and to deliver accountability. Today’s initial criminal report offers clear evidence that the missile was Russian-made, and launched from within territory held by Russian-backed separatist groups. We ask that Russia now engages constructively with the findings and ongoing investigation.
It is important that investigations to confirm the motivation for the attack, the identity of possible perpetrators and the chain of command reach a conclusion. The UK will continue to offer full support to the investigation and we urge all states affected by this tragedy to do the same. Alongside this, we will keep doing all we can to support the relatives of the 10 British nationals who lost their lives.
Question: Could you comment on reports that the Russian ambassador was summoned to the Dutch Foreign Ministry?
Maria Zakharova: The Foreign Ministry studied the press release by the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands on the outcome of its September 30 demarche with regard to the Russian ambassador in The Hague.
We note the complete rejection by the Netherlands of any, even well argued criticism of the recently released intermediate results of the criminal investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in Ukrainian airspace on July 17, 2014. The preliminary results of the Joint Investigative Team’s (JIT) work are being aggressively cast as the only credible explanation, impervious to any doubts or objections.
To provide additional clarification of the reasons why Russia does not accept the JIT’s methods, which are leading the investigation astray, on October 3, the Dutch ambassador to Russia will be summoned to the Foreign Ministry. The head of the Dutch diplomatic mission will be presented with arguments regarding the unacceptability of ignoring the important objective information that Russia has presented, which ultimately undermines cooperation between Russian experts and the investigation and also compromises the efforts to establish the truth about the tragedy and hold those guilty accountable in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2166.
I will state once again that Russia deeply regrets the poor quality of criminal investigation of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash in Ukraine in 2014 and the fact that it is politically motivated, which became absolutely obvious after the yesterday’s report by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
The JIT made absolutely groundless and unsubstantiated statements implying that the military equipment that downed the plane had crossed the Russian border. There were many dramatic words and vivid images, links to photo and video footage from the internet, images from US satellites that had never been released, and completely vague intelligence data from Ukraine (another reason to question Ukraine’s involvement in the investigation). The report put particular emphasis on unintelligible recordings of intercepted phone conversations, allegedly between the Donbass militia members, which JIT dramatically presented as unquestionable evidence of the DPR self-defence forces’ involvement in the crime.
Competent Russian experts scrutinised one of such recordings, which was posted on YouTube. A professional examination established that it was a hundred percent fabricated recording. The recording was broken down into several fragments and unrelated comments were inserted, which makes it impossible to establish the location and timing of the conversations. Therefore, it is impossible to confirm their authenticity. I don’t understand how someone can draw any conclusions without the most important source data.
Despite our expectations, once again, we did not hear anything specific and based on facts. What we saw was another storm of dramatic statements pretty much meaning “we have all the evidence but we will never show it to you and you can find everything online.” It seems that such statements have become a good tradition.
We are not losing hope and again demand that our counterparts look into facts and begin working with trustworthy information and, of course rationalise it. As before, Russia is willing to provide any assistance in the investigation.