Disinfo: MH17: JIT tampered with the evidence


The MH17 trial in The Hague bears no resemblance to comprehensive, thorough and independent investigations. An independent investigation would take all facts related to the tragedy into account. In the case of the JIT, photos, audio and videos show marks of tampering. The majority of these were handed over by the SBU, the interests of which are clear in the MH17 case. Moreover, the fact that witnesses are anonymous mean that they are no more believable than the “white dust presented by Colin Powell”.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative trying to discredit the MH17 criminal trial and the joint international investigation of the crash.

The Joint International Team comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Early on it was established that results of the criminal investigation must meet the standards that are set for an investigation in the Netherlands. This also applies to the other participating countries. This means that the JIT has agreed upon the rules and how the evidence should be collected in other countries. The cooperation in the JIT has made it possible for Dutch and Australian police officers to work on Ukrainian territory, together with Ukrainian investigating officers.

In order to find out the cause of the crash, the Joint Investigation Team investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft found in the vicinity of the disaster site. The traces were secured and investigated and compared by experts. In addition, the JIT sought and heard witnesses and experts, analysed radar and satellite images, assessed large amounts of telecom data such as intercepted telephone conversations and analysed big data. Read more about the investigation here.

Based on the investigation the JIT has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

There is no proof that any of the evidence has been tempered with or that the evidence was handed to the JIT by the SBU. Several witnesses in the trial chose to remain anonymous because they feared for their life and safety.

For our overview and analysis of disinformation narratives around the downing of MH17, click here.


  • Reported in: Issue 192
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Hungarian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: MH17


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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