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Dutch journalist says plane fragments can still be found at MH17 crash site

"It seemed as if the whole region had never been thoroughly searched," the journalist said

THE HAGUE, January 10. /TASS/. A lot of plane fragments and possibly human remains can still be found at the site of the MH17 crash in Ukraine’s Donbass, Dutch journalist Stefan Beck said on Tuesday after he visited the region.

Visiting the crash site was not the main aim of the trip he made together with another journalist, Michel Spekkers, the journalist wrote in his blog.

"Our stay in Donbass mostly focussed on showing how people in the region experienced the conflict, their attitude towards Ukraine, Russia, Donbass," the journalist wrote.

"It was only on the last day of our stay that Michel Spekkers went to the MH17 crash-site together with local journalists. What he found there was shocking; it seemed as if the whole region was never thoroughly searched as pieces of the plane could still be found everywhere," he went on.

"Moreover, not only was the material found in fields, where it might have been incidently overlooked by previous searches, it was also found still lying around in a shed formerly used for wreckage storage," the independent journalist said. "However, this material was never collected. More so, even some material which might very well be human was abandoned by previous investigations," he added.

Continuing the story, Beck said that Michel Spekkers had decided to bring home part of the materials for his own investigation, but he failed to do this. Dutch law enforcement agencies detained both at the airport upon their return home on January 7, confiscating all materials gathered on the MH17 crash, as well as cameras, cellphones and notebooks.

The journalist said they had initial contact with authorities and were ready to meet with them, but they believed "the handover would be voluntary" and "there should also be a possibilty to refuse".

Instead, the police confiscated all materials without any questions, only issing a receipt for the confiscated items.

"We again want to stress that we fear for the safety of the people who we interviewed. The vast majority of our material was not about MH17, but about how people toughed about the area. Amongst the interviews, were people that did not want to have their faces shown and that might be identified via our material. By voice, photos or recordings," Beck said.

In an interview with TASS on Monday, Beck said he feared that information he and his colleague had gathered at the MH17 crash site in Donbass and that had been confiscated could be passed to the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and used to persecute people supporting the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.

"Yes, definitely," he said in an interview, replying to the question whether the Dutch authorities could pass to Kiev information obtained from the equipment confiscated at Schiphol Airport of Amsterdam.

"The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is working on the MH17 investigation might very well receive this information," he said noting that "the representative of Ukraine to the JIT is the SBU".