Dutch led inquiry drafts circulates draft report that Russian air transport agency says “begs more questions than it answers”.

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Though the Western media has barely reported it, the Dutch led international accident investigation into the MH17 tragedy has drafted its initial report.

We know this because the Russian air transport agency Rosaviatsiya, which has seen the report, claims that it “raises more questions than it gives answers.”

This appears to suggest that the draft report avoids pinning responsibility on any specific party.

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That this is the most likely explanation for Rosaviatsiya’s comments is also suggested by two further facts (1) the absence of any leaks of the report appearing in the Western media; and (2) certain comments recently made by Netherlands Public prosecutor Fred Westerbeke, in which he is reported to have said “we are not yet far enough that we have formal suspects identified or are ready to arrest suspects.”

The Russians have complained that they have only been given 30 days to respond to the draft report and say that they have “a range of weighty remarks regarding the document, stated arguments, and simply technical data.”

The Russians have also ruled out suggestions of an international tribunal to try those responsible for shooting down MH17. Whilst some media reports have circulated suggesting that Malaysia or the Netherlands were seeking such a UN Security Council resolution to set up such a tribunal, there is no actual confirmation of this.

As the Russians rightly say, such a tribunal would in fact be unprecedented and has never been set up in any previous case where a civilian airliner has been shot down. The Russians have anyway turned against the idea of such tribunals following what they see as the highly partial and Western dominated way in which other such such tribunals (such as the one looking into the Yugoslav conflict) have conducted themselves.

Meanwhile it is clear that no step has been made to undertake the on-the-spot questioning of potential witnesses that as I have said previously is an essential part of a properly conducted investigation into this sort of tragedy (see MH17: The Facts and the Cover-Up, Russia Insider, 3rd December 2014). It appears that the whole report is based purely on an assessment of the technical data. There is no confirmation as to whether this includes any satellite imagery provided by the US.

Whilst it is difficult to comment on a report that has not been published the little we know about it suggests a report that will fail to settle the many questions there are about this tragedy.

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