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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Dutch police have just released US satellite photographs (lead images) purporting to reveal Russian truck transporters of BUK missile units at Millerovo and Kursk on July 18 and July 20, 2014, just hours and days after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

The new evidence, kept secret until now, confirms the US and NATO satellite capability to have recorded the scene of the MH17 shoot-down, before the alleged Russian missile launch; during the missile trajectory and detonation;  and in the minutes which followed when the aircraft cockpit, fuselage, engines and other parts were falling to earth.

The US satellite infra-red, photographic and other records of the July 17 evidence have never been revealed, however.

The two US satellite photographic images for July 18 and July 20 have now been published  as part of a final Dutch government attempt to show that the BUK missile battery and radar unit known as a BUK TELAR (transporter erector launcher and radar) had been withdrawn from the Ukraine across the border into Russia, after the alleged firing at MH17.

In the new presentation, however, the Dutch admit the satellite evidence has proved nothing. “In summary, the investigation was unable to establish what happened to the TELAR after it arrived in Russia,” the JIT now says.

By admitting this now, the Dutch, and indirectly the US Government, are intimating that their satellite evidence of the MH17 incident also proves nothing. In other words, there is no evidence from either the US or NATO that a Russian missile was fired at MH17, destroying the aircraft and killing all 298 people on board.  US officials who have claimed otherwise have been lying. The media reporting of these claims has been false.

Proof of nothing, when concealed, is evidence of cover-up.

The two satellite photographs were published at a briefing on February 8  by the Dutch police, prosecutors and others engaged in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT); that team included Ukrainian, Australian, Belgian and Malaysian officials. From late in 2014 until the opening of The Hague District Court proceeding in March 2020, the JIT  supplied the evidence to Dutch police, prosecutors, other Dutch government  investigators, and investigating judges, for presentation at the court  proceeding. This was a trial of four men, three Russians and one Ukrainian, on charges of premeditated and intentional murder in the destruction of MH17. Three were convicted in their absence;  the one Russian who was represented in court (but not present) was acquitted.

The record of last week’s JIT briefing is silent on where the satellite images came from, how they were obtained by JIT, and when. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer who presented the satellite was AFP Assistant Commissioner and chief of staff, David McLean.

The Australian police briefer reading out the JIT script on the satellite evidence. Source: https://www.youtube.com/
Following this briefing, the Australian Government released a statement by the foreign minister and attorney-general: “We commend the work and professionalism of the Joint Investigation Team officials, including the Australian Federal Police, who have conducted rigorous investigations to support bringing those responsible to justice.The findings of the District Court of The Hague unequivocally and conclusively establish Russia’s responsibility for the downing of MH17.”   

All that the Dutch now say about this evidence is: “Since images of the TELAR could also shed light on its crew, the investigation also looked into how the TELAR was transported after being returned to Russia: by rail, by road or by air. No indications were found that would point to rail transport. The JIT does, however, have a satellite photo from 20 July taken in the vicinity of Millerovo which shows a single covered vehicle on a low loader. You see that image on the left. The shape and dimensions of this covered vehicle are consistent with the covered vehicles that were observed on a satellite image of the 53rd AAMB’s base shortly before the departure of the 1st battalion. You see that image on the right.”

US satellite images of the alleged Russian BUK missile launch and strike against the aircraft were repeatedly claimed by senior US officials, including then-Secretary of State John Kerry in the aftermath of the incident.  Kerry announced on July 20, 2014:  “You know, I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence. It’s powerful here. But even more importantly, we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing. And it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know, from voice identification, that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterwards.”  

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/
Kerry makes his explicit satellite evidence claims starting at Min. 1:30. Kerry says “we picked up the imagery [of the missile attack] at Min 3:23. Kerry repeated the satellite evidence claim in Australia on August 12, 2014.

Kerry also told NBC:  “We know that they had an SA-11 [BUK] system in the vicinity, literally hours before the shoot-down took place. There are social media records of that. They were talking, and we have the intercepts of their conversations, talking about the transfer and movement and repositioning of the SA-11 system. The social media showed them with this system moving through the very area where we believe the shoot-down took place, hours before it took place.”

After eight years of attempts the Dutch and JIT have reported at obtaining the US satellite images, the evidence was refused. Instead, a memorandum written by US Army Colonel Kenneth Stolworthy was sent to the Dutch Government, dated August 23, 2016.  The full text was not released to the defence lawyers or presented in evidence in court. Stolworthy himself refused to answer questions when attempts were made to contact him at his office at a US Army base in Germany.

Evidence from other US intelligence sources has suggested the Stolworthy paper was not a presentation of the imagery evidence which Kerry had announced. A secret report of September 21, 2016,   by the Dutch military intelligence agency MIVD, leaked from the JIT files, followed the Dutch assessment of Stolworthy’s paper, and contradicted Kerry’s claims. The MIVD report concluded there was no US satellite evidence of a Russian missile attack.

Last week, for the first time, the Dutch Government and the Australian police officer revealed that they have been keeping US satellite photographs to themselves, in secret from the press,  from the accused Russians, from the defence lawyers, and from the judges in court throughout the two-year trial proceedings.

Last week the July 18 and July 20 satellite evidence was presented, accompanied by a map of the deployment locations in the photographs. . The JIT now says: “The JIT does, however, have a satellite photo from 20 July taken in the vicinity of Millerovo which shows a single covered vehicle on a low loader. You see that image on the left. The shape and dimensions of this covered vehicle are consistent with the covered vehicles that were observed on a satellite image of the 53rd AAMB’s base shortly before the departure of the 1st battalion. You see that image on the right.”

Above:  Map of Russian military locations in Washington Post report of US satellite imagery released by NATO: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
Below:  https://www.politie.nl/

The evidence of the two satellite images now exposed, and the conclusions which the briefing officer attempted and the transcript then confirmed,  is that US satellite images were recorded for the July 17, 2014, area of the shoot-down, and that they have been withheld.

The likely reason for this cannot be revealed because they fail to substantiate the case for Russian culpability in the firing of the BUK. According to the rules for admissibility of evidence and the legal standards for proof in criminal prosecutions in civilized courts, the new evidence contradicts the core of the JIT and Dutch court case. The missing satellite images contradict the indictment and exculpate the accused.

Left: the JIT transcript is here.
Video record is here.
Right: click for the book.

Read the book on the evidence; then read the JIT briefing; and then come to judgement, again.

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