by John Helmer, Moscow
The Dutch Government has rigged the trial for Russian murder in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on June 17, 2014. The outcome will be a guilty verdict. For Prime Minister Mark Rutte, this is more easily predicted than his survival in power in six months’ time, when Dutch voters go to the polls on March 17, 2021.
The immediate consequence is that the defence of Russian Army Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Pulatov, the one Russian accused who has responded to the Dutch indictment, is pointless; it should stop at once. The Rotterdam lawyers, Boudwijn van Eijck and Sabine ten Doesschate, who are representing Pulatov in court, should withdraw. If they are reluctant, then Anatoly Kovler and Yelena Kutyina, the Moscow lawyers who arranged their engagement and the money to pay them, should order a walk-out.
The Russian side gains nothing, and loses much, by collaborating in the show trial.
A guilty verdict for Pulatov, and by extension the three other defendants and the Russian government behind them, can’t make a significant difference to the outcome of the Dutch election. The MH17 trial will be continuing that month, if it is running on the timetable already announced. According to that, the verdict cannot be delivered until the very end of 2021 or the first weeks of 2022.
Before the March election day, however, if Pulatov has already abandoned the trial, ordering his lawyers to leave the courtroom, there is a chance that Rutte’s campaign of deceptions will be comprehended by Dutch voters as they go to the ballot box. Just a chance. If then they throw Rutte out, the outcome and verdict of the trial aren’t likely to be directly affected. But Russians will say that Rutte has been felled by the truth.(more…)