THE HAGUE, December 24. /TASS/. The Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in the embattled eastern Ukraine in July was most likely shot down by a military aircraft, the Dutch author of a book that looks into the tragedy has told TASS.
Joost Niemoller studied piles of available documents, talked to specialists, politicians and relatives of the crash victims while collecting information for the “MH17: the Cover-up Deal” book that was published late in October.
The book does not give a direct answer to the burning question of what had brought down the passenger plane. “You can’t be sure, you have to wait for the results of the investigation. And I will do this. But there is no proof that separatists fired the rocket from their own ground. And I think that is very important,” Joost Niemoller said.
Citing experts, he said that if a Buk surface-to-air missile system had shot down the ill-fated plane, a fire would have immediately started on board. However, it was practically established that there had been no fire on board, he said.
The author sees the version of a military jet shooting down the Boeing as a much more likely, which is also confirmed by the nature of damage to the plane.
“So, there is no reason to think it has been a rocket. This is what my feeling is. You can’t say for sure, but I think it must be a jet,” he said.
Joost Niemoller said he had faced a lot of difficulties when trying to explain his point of view to Dutch media. “For example, with my book: all the media in Holland were very interested to bring the story, but then they found out that I also say a lot about Russian version of what happened and then all the media cancelled the whole thing,” the author said.
Moreover, he said media gave almost zero attention to Russian information on the crash. This refers to a briefing on July 21, when the Russian Defense Ministry produced evidence of a possible role of a Ukrainian plane in the accident. This also refers to Russia’s proposal directed to the UN Security Council to study data on flights of military planes and missile launches in the crash area.
“The problem is that in western media you only get one version of what happened: the separatists story. That is the only thing you hear, and it is almost impossible to get anything other through,” Joost Niemoller said.
“We have so called freedom here in the West in the media, but in fact it is not freedom at all,” he added.
A Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people crashed in east Ukraine on July 17 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Both sides in Ukraine’s conflict accused each other of shooting down the plane with a missile. There were no survivors. Most of the victims, 196, were Dutch nationals.