THE DUTCH INVASION PLAN OF DONBASS BEFORE THE DOWNING OF MH17 ON JULY 17, 2014

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Two Dutch nationals, David Petraeus and Sandra Roelofs (lead image, centre), were involved in the US planning of an invasion of the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine, in the days running up to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, when 193 Dutch and 38 Australians were among the 298 passengers and crew killed.  

Petraeus, a US Army general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2011-November 9, 2012), is a Dutch citizen by law because his father, Sixtus Petraeus from Friesland, was a junior officer in the Dutch merchant marine at the outbreak of World War II. David Petraeus was awarded a Dutch knighthood in 2010 and is celebrated by the Dutch as “the most visible Dutch American personality on the national and international scene”.

Roelofs, Dutch by birth in Zeeland, became the wife of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (left) in 1993, and she has remained his collaborator in open political as well as clandestine operations in Georgia, Ukraine, and the US since then.

In the early days of July 2014, when the Ukrainian forces of then-President Petro Poroshenko were launching their US-directed offensive in the Donbass, Petraeus met Saakashvili at the latter’s home with Roelofs in New York to discuss a military operation which Saakashvili then discussed with Poroshenko. Last week, speaking on Ukrainian television as a member of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government, Saakashvili broke his silence to reveal partial details of the military plan.  

Did either or both of them engage Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s (right) government before July 17, 2014, in readiness for Rutte’s promotion of the NATO force invasion plan immediately afterwards? Rutte’s involvement in that plan was first revealed by the Dutch press on July 25, 2014.

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THE DEVIL IN THE MH17 DETAILS — HOW KEN STOLWORTHY DECEIVED THE DUTCH, HOW THE DUTCH AGREED TO BE DECEIVED

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) never told Dutch prosecutors and investigating judges in the MH17 investigation that he had seen US satellite pictures of the firing of a BUK missile at the aircraft and the detonation which destroyed it in the air above eastern Ukraine seven years ago, on July 17, 2014.

Instead, he told a junior member of his staff, Army Colonel Kenneth Stolworthy, to give the Dutch a paper “summary” that “reflects the American intelligence community’s considered opinion” that “Russian led separatist fighters and Russian military personnel or a combination of the two” were responsible for the attack which killed all 298 passengers and crew on board. The summary Stolworthy was told to assemble came down to him from the National Intelligence Council (NIC), a committee reporting to the DNI the intelligence it gathered from all US intelligence sources, resolving – if it could – the different measures of opinion each of them expressed.

The NIC reported upward to DNI; DNI issued his order downward to Stolworthy with NIC’s script for the Dutch, minus the details.

Stolworthy was selected because he was not an intelligence officer himself; because he had no expertise in satellite imaging; because he was so junior his name was unknown; and because  what he wrote to the Dutch was deniable by his superiors if the Dutch challenged his veracity or if there was a leak.  Stolworthy was ordered to speak to no one, especially not the Dutch.   

In advance agreement between senior officials of the Obama Administration and Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government in The Hague, the Dutch agreed to accept the DNI script and not to press for the satellite images. Rutte also agreed to keep that more secret than the US evidence itself because he knew there were no US satellite images.  Rutte knew this because he had been told so by the head of the Dutch military intelligence agency Major-General Onno Eichelsheim.  

The chairman of the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), Greg Treverton, at the time the third-ranking official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the official in charge of assembling “the American intelligence community’s considered opinion”, now says “we worked on the shoot-down, but I don’t recall any specific request for information from the Dutch.”

According to Treverton, speaking two days ago, “Ken Stolworthy was, I think, a deputy National Intelligence Manager, so he did work for the DNI”. He “could have represented US intelligence to the Dutch though I don’t have any notes or memory of any such contact”.

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MH17 TRIAL JUDGE REVEALS US INTELLIGENCE SWITCH – FROM SATELLITE IMAGES WHICH DON’T EXIST IN WASHINGTON TO TAPES AND VIDEOS FABRICATED IN KIEV

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In a new ruling read out in a Dutch courtroom yesterday, the judge presiding in the trial of allegations against the Russian state, military command and four named soldiers for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 revealed new details of the US evidence allegedly proving that a Russian missile caused the crash. The judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, then refused to allow the lawyers representing the Russian defence to cross-examine the man from the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) who, Steenhuis now says,  signed his name to the evidence and has been sought for questioning. According to Steenhuis, questioning him would be “pointless”.

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MH17 TRIAL – DUTCH JUDGE HENDRIK STEENHUIS DISCREDITS HIMSELF AND THE TRIAL WITH FIRST MENTION IN COURT OF INADMISSIBLE AUTOPSY EVIDENCE PROVING, NONETHELESS, NO RUSSIAN BUK MISSILE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

For the first time since the Dutch Government began its prosecution of the Russian Government for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and the killing of the  298 passengers and crew on board, the court has heard what the presiding judge, Hendrik Steenhuis (lead image), has described as autopsy and post-mortem evidence from the bodies recovered from the aircraft crash scene in eastern Ukraine.

For the first time, Steenhuis has read out a scripted version of what he declares to be admissible evidence from the bodies, although the trial of this evidence has only just begun.

And for the first time – without showing he has comprehended what he has revealed —  Steenhuis confirms that only one piece of shrapnel identifiable with the alleged murder weapon, a Russian-made BUK missile, was discovered by the Dutch forensic teams, pathologists, policemen, prosecutors, and investigating judges who have been working on this evidence since the crash on July 17, 2014. If Steenhuis is telling the truth about this one bow-tie shaped piece of shrapnel from a missile warhead, another cube-shaped piece of shrapnel has disappeared from the cockpit bodies, plus one additional bow-tie and a cube reportedly found in the cockpit frame and photographed by the Dutch Safety Board in October 2015.

This one piece of metal has been admitted in evidence by Steenhuis without any chain of custody protecting it from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) since the SBU supervised autopsies of the same bodies in Kharkiv in July 2014, before sending them to The Netherlands. That is one piece of metal out of 2,600 bow-tie shapes and another 2,600 cube shapes in the BUK missile warhead Steenhuis has now ruled to have committed the crime.

For the Dutch judge this is beyond reasonable doubt.

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THE MOMENT OF TRUTH IN THE MH17 TRIAL – DUTCH TRUTH, AMERICAN LIE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The US Government told the Dutch Government on April 23, 2021, that it does not trust Dutch judges in the trial of Russians accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.  

In a letter that has been kept secret until yesterday, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the State Department and the Department of Justice declared that they were happy to tell Dutch prosecutors that US satellite images proved that a Russian-fired BUK missile destroyed the MH17 in flight above eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. However, they would not allow the evidence of the satellite images, or the details of the secret DNI briefing of unnamed Dutch government officials on August 23, 2016, from being repeated, tested and verified by the Dutch judges who have been requesting the evidence for several years.

The US officials also said in their letter they rejected all possible alternatives for the Dutch judges to examine the alleged evidence.

According to a statement of the Dutch investigating judge to the presiding trial judge, read out in court on June 7,  taking into account  “the clear reaction of the American authorities the investigating judge in all reasonableness sees no possibility to indeed further execute this referred request [for the satellite evidence].”

Russian lawyers following the proceedings in The Hague District Court believe the collapse of US government evidence in the case leaves the only evidence for the prosecution to come from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) which Dutch judges refuse to allow to be tested by independent experts.  International war crimes lawyers have repeatedly said that without the US satellite evidence, the Ukrainian government fabrications leave no case for the Russians to answer, and that the defence lawyers for  the indicted Russian Army officer Oleg Pulatov should now walk out.

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MH17 TRIAL SECRETS — THE DUTCH DEFENCE LAWYERS HAVE BETRAYED THE RUSSIAN CASE

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The release by the Dutch prosecutors of their presentations last week in the MH17 trial before The Hague District Court reveal the extent of the incompetence and negligence of the two Dutch lawyers paid by Moscow for the defence – Sabine ten Doesschate (lead image, centre) and Boudewjin van Eijck (right). The two lawyers, whose previous experience of criminal defence trials has been limited to defending the Dutch police, are keeping secrets which not even the prosecutors are concealing now.

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DUTCH STATE LEAKS EXPOSE MH17 TRIAL OUTLAWS, STARTING WITH THE INVESTIGATING JUDGE IN HIDING

By John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Dutch Government’s  trial of the Russian Government for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 reached new lows on Thursday when it was revealed in court that the US Government continues to conceal the satellite evidence alleged to show a BUK missile firing at the aircraft; that the release on Dutch television of thousands of telephone taps of one of the  Russian soldiers accused of the shoot-down was the work of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU)  and by a source among the Dutch police and prosecutors;  and, finally, that an investigating judge has decided in secret to prevent any cross-examination of the Dutch government experts responsible for reports allegedly proving the prosecution’s case.

That investigating judge was acknowledged in court yesterday to be playing a more decisive  role than the president of the trial, District Court judge Henrik Steenhuis. Her name is being kept a state secret.

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DUTCH SHOW TRIAL JUDGE LETS TWO SECRETS SLIP OUT – MAINSTREAM MEDIA, DUTCH BLOGGERS, DEFENCE LAWYERS MISS THEM

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In the history of how English law evolved towards the individual rights most state constitutions and the UN’s declaration of human rights proclaim today, the Star Chamber was a nasty piece of work. Over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Star Chamber was a court in London which received indictments prepared by the king; whose judges were picked and paid for by the king; whose evidence was decided by the king; whose witnesses were tortured by the king; and whose proceedings were held in the king’s meeting-room behind his armed guards. The Star Chamber was abolished by parliament after its army had defeated the king’s army and then executed the king himself.

The Dutch state is still in the fifteenth century stage. It is running the trial of charges against Russian Army officers for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 as a Star Chamber process. The Dutch lawyers who are paid by the Russian state to defend the accused are also paid agents of the Dutch state; they comply; they don’t protest. The mainstream Dutch press, even the Dutch bloggers and alt-media, refuse to report the Star Chamber’s secrets. When The Hague District Court judge Hendrik Steenhuis revealed on Monday two of these secrets,  no one in The Netherlands reported noticing.

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THE “RULES-BASED ORDER” FOR SOLDIERS WHO KILL CIVILIANS – THE US RULE FOR JAPANESE; THE AUSTRALIAN RULE FOR AFGHANS; THE DUTCH RULE FOR RUSSIANS

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

It requires unusual degrees of self-confidence, political power, and lawlessness for the generals commanding the winning side in war to hold themselves innocent of the killing which the troops under their command committed against the losing side or suspected sympathisers.   

In Washington, in February of 1946, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court Frank Murphy warned that if the law of war requires the most senior commander of soldiers running amok with blood lust to be responsible with his own life for what his men have done – even if the commander didn’t know and had no effective means of controlling the troops – the precedent might one day reach to the US commander-in-chief, the President.  “No one in a position of command in an army, from sergeant to general,” said Murphy, “can escape those implications. Indeed, the fate of some future President of the United States and his chiefs of staff and military advisers may well have been sealed by this decision.”

That decision has come to be known as the Yamashita Standard after Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita (lead image, top, 1st left).  But when Australian soldiers killed more than 39 Afghan civilians between 2007 and 2016,  in a judgement publicly released a few days ago, their commanders – Generals Angus Campbell (2nd left), Paul Kenny (3rd left), Adam Findlay (4th left), and Richard Burr (right) — have been cleared of command duty and personal responsibility.

They have been judged by the Army, the Government in Canberra, and the entire Australian press to be innocent. From their time as special forces’ commanders in Afghanistan, they have been promoted to general rank; appointed to advise the prime minister and his ministers on fresh battlefield operations, including the plan to invade  eastern Ukraine after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014.

That was a crime, the guilt for which the Dutch Government aims to convict the Russian chain of command all the way to the President. The Dutch government says it is applying its version of the Yamashita Standard, with evidence of chain of command communications fabricated by the Ukrainian secret service, the SBU; by a NATO propaganda unit; and by a cartoon of Moscow’s command responsibility presented to the press  by a Dutch policeman named Wilbert Paulissen (lead image, bottom ).

The American, Australian and Dutch commands have not yet won their war against Russia, so the MH17 war crime trial is premature. It is also contradicted by their own policy for the Afghan war. “Such circumstances,” declared the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman last Friday, “cast doubt on the genuine willingness of the Australian authorities to bring to justice all military personnel responsible for crimes, as well as on the seriousness of the stated intentions of the armed forces command to reform army special forces units. The massive, systemic and grave crimes committed over the years by fighters of Australian elite units against the inhabitants of Afghanistan make a new assessment of the meaning of the relentlessly proclaimed commitment of official Canberra to a ‘rules-based world order.’ What are these rules?”

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JUDGE HENDRIK STEENHUIS CLOSES TRAP IN MH17 TRIAL — RULES DUTCH DEFENCE LAWYERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO PROCEED IN CONVICTING THEIR OWN CLIENT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In the November 25 session of the MH17 trial at Schiphol – the final one for this year —  presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis  ruled to accept only those investigations requested by the defence lawyers which are certain to incriminate Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Pulatov. Pulatov is the only one of the four accused to present a defence to the Dutch indictment for destruction of the aircraft and the murder of all 298 passengers and crew on board. 

Accepting the state prosecution’s advice to reject the defence lawyers’ attempts to probe evidence for alternative scenarios of the shooting-down of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft on July 17, 2014, Steenhuis said: “if the main scenario cannot be proved” – the prosecution’s case that the Russian military command sent a BUK missile into eastern Ukraine where the four accused fired it – “then that leads automatically to the verdict of not guilty”.

Steenhuis announced he is ready to accept all the self-incrimination Pulatov’s lawyers have already presented from their client. But he insisted that if Pulatov wishes to testify to the court, that must be done in a live interrogation by the court and cross-examination by prosecutors – a condition Steenhuis has disallowed for any other witness in the case.

Steenhuis also ruled to accept the defence lawyers’ request to interview the commander of the Russian Army’s 53rd  Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade on the same terms. Steenhuis has previously refused to allow any evidence or testimony from Russian Army Major General Igor Konashenkov on Ukrainian deployment of BUK missiles, including the one identified by prosecutors as having caused the destruction of the aircraft. The evidence against the 53rd Brigade was fabricated by a NATO propaganda unit; until now it would not have been admissible in the court trial if the defence lawyers had not applied to interview the brigade commander, Colonel Sergei Muchkayev.   

Steenhuis also expressed his appreciation for the videotaped interviews the defence lawyers have presented in court with Pulatov, together with a recent film of remarks by Colonel Sergei Dubinsky, the second of the four accused.  These films will now be used, Steenhuis ruled, by Dutch government experts and the investigating judge to match Pulatov’s and Dubinsky’s voices with telephone taps prepared by the Ukrainian security service, the SBU. The experts and the investigating judge will remain anonymous, and will not testify directly in court.

In concluding the preliminaries before the trial of Pulatov, Dubinsky, Igor Girkin (Strelkov), and Leonid Kharchenko commences next February 1, Steenhuis’s new ruling anticipates that if the Russian Government decides to dismiss the Dutch defence for incompetence and abandon the show trial, it will appear more guilty than if the Dutch defence had never begun.

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DEFENCE TURNS THE MH17 SHOW TRIAL INTO A CIRCUS

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Dutch and Russian state officials combined last week to turn the trial of the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 into a farce.

Two Rotterdam police defenders, Sabine ten Doesschate and Boudewijn van Eijck, engaged by a Russian foundation to represent Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Pulatov, one of the four accused,  pretended to investigate evidence the prosecutors have rejected, and the presiding judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, together with an investigating magistrate whose name is kept secret, have already dismissed.  

Pulatov and Colonel Sergei Dubinsky, the second of the four accused by the Dutch of murder in the shooting-down of the aircraft and deaths of 298 people on board on July 17, 2014, pretended to be naïve in asking to be believed; provided videotapes of themselves offering to prove their innocence; and inviting the prosecution and Steenhuis to dismiss their truthfulness.  The prosecutors will make their presentation this week. The judge has announced he will rule on the defence requests on November 25.

The Dutch prosecution service pretended to report the three days of proceedings with the summary:  “the defence is of the opinion that additional investigation is required to find out more about the reliability and value of the evidence put forward by the PPS [Public Prosecution Service] and about evidence that was not put forward by the PPS but could nevertheless be important”.

The trial is broadcast live in Dutch with simultaneous translation into English. Spokesmen for the prosecution press service said they have no idea how the English voiceover record of each day’s hearing could be purchased, or if it was available at all.

The Russian state media organisation RT pretended to have had “technical capacity” difficulty reproducing the first day’s hearing in the YouTube format it has been broadcasting on the internet since the trial began on March 9. RT management then admitted they have ceased providing this archive record unless a one-time or subscription payment is made. “Ruptly is a B2B agency providing services and materials to the international media across the globe”, said the Moscow manager for RT’s Ruptly subsidiary. “The material in question with translation in English is available for Ruptly subscribers.”

No mainstream western media have paid. They also refused to report the defence presentations as news.

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AUSTRALIAN JOURNALIST IDENTIFIED AS UKRAINIAN SPY IN MH17 PROSECUTION LEAK – EVIDENCE FAKING, EVIDENCE SELLING EXPOSED IN AUSTRALIAN POLICE RECORD

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

A freelance Australian-Ukrainian reporter named Demjin Doroschenko (lead image),  employed by the Australian, British and US press to report from the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014,  has been exposed this week as an  agent of  the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). Reporting to a figure he calls “my SBU handler”, he had been operating in the Donetsk area before and after the crash, and had been spying on groups fighting the Ukrainian regime in Kiev.

In the record of an interview  Doroschenko gave to agents of the Australian Federal Police and Australian foreign ministry in Kiev in March 2015, the man admitted he had been paid by the SBU to pass himself off as a freelance journalist for western media in the Donetsk area before and after the MH17 shoot-down. He had met, he said, with Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Dutch police in July 2014, and then again in November of that year, to give them physical evidence he said he had taken from the crash site, as well as purported witness testimony identifying a Russian missile unit as the cause of the aircraft shoot-down.  The evidence appears to have been given to him by the SBU.

Doroschenko also ackowledged that he had been trying to sell his information to Dutch police investigators until the SBU confiscated his computer files, and handed them over to the Dutch directly.

The media which paid Doroschenko to report from the MH17 crash scene included the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), a state broadcaster; the Murdoch press in Sydney and in London; Associated Press;  and NBC of New York.

Of the 298 passengers and crew killed on board the aircraft, 189 were Dutch; 44 were Malaysia; 27 Australian; 12 Indonesian; and 9 British. 

Reporting to the Sydney Morning Herald on July 18, the day after the shoot-down, Doroschenko categorically denied the Ukrainian government forces were responsible. “They don’t have any weapons like this that could have brought down an airliner at ten thousand meters. No way. So it had to come from the other side and only a very modern weapon system could have done that. I can only think it would have been deliberate, because air defense systems have IFF recognition system so you can tell if it is a military aircraft or a civilian aircraft you are going to shoot down. It could only have come from across the border. It is an act of absolute barbarism and terrorism in my opinion.”

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THE MH17 SHOOT-DOWN WAS A BIG MONEY-MAKER FOR THE DUTCH POLICE, PROSECUTORS, JUDGES TOO

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Dutch police have hired a professor called Maurice Punch to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. He tried; the Dutch police think he succeeded in a report called “Passionate Professionals: The Dutch Police Response to the Shooting Down of Malaysian Airlines’ MH17 in the Ukraine.”   Punch concluded that to the Dutch police the MH17 disaster has been worth its weight in guilders, I mean gold.

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MH17 TRIAL JUDGE RULES TO KEEP EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN GUILT SECRET; DEFENCE LAWYER AGREES RUSSIAN MUST PROVE INNOCENCE

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

In the trial of Russian murder alleged in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17, Dutch lawyers for the defence announced on Monday for the first time that their client, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Pulatov (lead image, left) declares himself innocent. The lawyers added their acknowledgement that their client must prove his innocence — not that the Dutch prosecution should prove him guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

In a brief resumption of the MH17 trial in The Netherlands, the presiding judge Hendrik  Steenhuis (right) attacked the two lawyers representing Pulatov  for delaying their filing of requests for additional investigations of the evidence in the case.  Steenhuis also dismissed the defence requests for lifting court orders already issued for the secrecy concealing where and how the alleged parts of the Buk missile were found which Pulatov is charged with firing against the aircraft on July 17, 2014. Steenhuis even ruled that the name of the investigating judge who initiated the orders for secrecy covering the alleged weapon should remain secret. That the investigating judge is a woman was all Steenhuis allowed to be known.

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THE LIE THAT SHOT DOWN MH17

  @bears_with

PUBLISHED THIS WEEK

> 642 pages, 758 references, maps, illustrations, index<

The first book to prove the Dutch Government is running a show trial, with Dutch judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and police serving as soldiers in the Kiev regime’s  and the NATO war against Russia.

Every one of them is making more money than they were before MH17 was shot down — €35 million more for the judges; €13 million more for the prosecutors; €221 million for the police.

An encyclopaedic demonstration  of  Ukrainian evidence tampering, US satellite faking,  and witness lying under SBU torture and bribery to demonstrate that the Russians accused have no case to answer; that the judge’s guilty verdict has been rigged, and that the defence lawyers should now walk out of the court.

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MH17 SHOW TRIAL GOES FOR THE JACKPOT – DEFENCE LAWYERS DON’T OBJECT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The trial of the crime of the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 resumed on August 31 with the demand of Amsterdam and Rotterdam lawyers for the Russian Government to pay blood money to the relatives of the 298 passengers and crew killed when the aircraft was shot down on July 17, 2014.  

Until this moment, the show trial presided over by Judge Hendrik Steenhuis, a former Dutch state tax collector and political ally of Prime Minister Mark Rutte,   had been focused on admitting Ukrainian secret service evidence of the crime and disallowing Russian evidence to the contrary.

The lawyers of the relatives have now joined the prosecution to endorse a guilty verdict in advance for the four defendants – three Russian officers, one Ukrainian – and, in order to pay for the crime, the Russian state behind them. The lawyers are proposing the judge admit into the trial  proceeding evidence by relatives, each taking fifteen minutes, ten testimonies per day over at least three weeks, to advertise the compensation claim and run up the judge’s cash register.

There is a problem, though. In almost four hours of speechmaking, the lawyers revealed that less than half the relatives have signed for the money shot – none of them from the families of the Malaysian and Indonesian passengers and crew killed. Counting the 30% lawyers’ commission, plus costs, this is entirely an operation for the Dutch to enrich themselves at the expense, they are figuring, of the Russian treasury.

There was another problem. The two Dutch lawyers engaged to represent the Russians in the trial to argue the defence of their innocence, made no objection to the victim lawyers’ pitch on the two grounds available from the Dutch code of criminal procedure – inadmissibility as to evidence, prejudice as to proof. The defence lawyers are already making money at the Russian treasury’s expense.

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RUTTE’S RUT — DUTCH PRIME MINISTER LOSES CONFIDENCE IN MH17 TRIAL, FILES CLAIM TO EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS DESPITE COURT DECISION DELAYING ALL UKRAINE-RUSSIA CASES

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (lead image) surprised his own country’s lawyers last week with the filing of a Dutch Government claim against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights for the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. “The Dutch government decided”, declared the official announcement,    “to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for its role in the downing of Flight MH17.”

“By submitting an inter-State application,” Rutte’s statement explained, “the government is sharing all available and relevant information about the downing of Flight MH17 with the ECtHR. The contents of the inter-State application will also be incorporated into The Netherlands’ intervention in the individual applications submitted by the victims’ next of kin against Russia to the ECHR. By taking this course of action the government is offering maximum support to these individual cases.”

In fact, according to international lawyers, the Dutch move contributes nothing to the individual cases now pending from MH17 victims’ families because the court has suspended all of them since December 2018.

The lawyers also point out the contradiction between alleging in the criminal trial in The Hague District Court now under way  that the Russian government and military were not behind the actions of the four men accused of the shoot-down;  and Rutte’s allegation of Russian state guilt to the European court. “This isn’t just parallel litigation, which the ECHR has already refused to allow,” commented a London legal expert. “It’s a vote of no confidence in the Dutch prosecutors to secure convictions in the murder case they are trying to make.”

Rutte’s move has been dismissed in The Netherlands by Dutch lawyers, and also by victims’ families, as cynical electioneering. The prime minister, they believe, is attempting to hold on to power before the general election due next March despite having lost the majority of party votes in both houses of the Dutch parliament.

“For our prime minister Rutte,” commented Dutch lawyer Alfred Vierling, “this entire circus is the crucial test case for his higher political ambitions. He has promised to the victims’ families that the proverbial last stone will be turned over.  Maybe, but I expect that we shall all be crushed under a pile of lies first.”

“The new Dutch move,” responds Canadian war crimes specialist, attorney Christopher Black, “is an attempt to mask the fact that the trial before the Dutch courts is a biassed, one-sided affair, based on unsupported claims of the Kiev regime and the suppression of the evidence provided by Russia and eye-witnesses that support the case that the Kiev regime and its allies are responsible for the shoot-down. Instead of bringing justice to the victims, this is another attempt by NATO to deny them the real justice they are due.”

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THE DUTCH WRITING ON THE UKRAINIAN WALL – STEENHUIS RULING IN MH17 TRIAL PREJUDGES VERDICT

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The ruling issued on July 3 by Dutch district court judge Hendrik Steenhuis (lead image, right) requires the Russian defendant, Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Pulatov (centre), to prove his innocence with evidence prepared by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). By the standard announced a month earlier by the Russian Foreign Ministry, this is a fundamental violation of Pulatov’s legal rights, making a guilty verdict inevitable.   

Russian and international lawyers believe the defence lawyers should walk out. “In the conditions which the Dutch court has set,” comments Canadian Christopher Black, a veteran litigator in international war crimes trials, “this is now nothing more than the Ukrainian civil war fought by the Kiev regime with lawyers instead of soldiers. It’s a show trial. Nothing more than propaganda. No legal right for the accused is served by having his lawyers present. Since the defendants have refused to appear in person – three of them disputing the Dutch jurisdiction — the defence lawyers should withdraw.”

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MH17 TRIAL HITS UKRAINIAN WALL – JUDGE STEENHUIS REJECTS MAJOR-GENERAL KONASHENKOV FOR EVIDENCE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMY’S BUK MISSILE WHICH SHOT DOWN MH17

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The presiding judge in the trial of the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 announced on Friday afternoon that he will not allow the evidence of Major-General Igor Konashenkov and other Russian Defence Ministry officers on the Ukrainian Army’s possession of the BUK missile alleged to be the weapon which shot down the aircraft, killing all 298 people on board.

Judge Hendrik Steenhuis declared that the Russian evidence revealed so far of the parts of the missile is limited to the manufacture of the weapon in Russia in 1986, and delivery of the weapon to a Ukrainian Army unit between December 1986 and early 1987. Steenhuis refused to allow  Russian military intelligence to reveal where the missile was located between 1987 and July 17, 2014, when the Dutch prosecution claims the missile was fired by a Russian military crew at MH17.

“The defence wishes to interview these witnesses in order to establish the evidential value and credibility of the parts of the missile administration supplied by Russia,” Steenhuis announced. He refused to identify Russian Army generals Igor Konashenkov, the Defence Ministry spokesman,  and Nikolai Parshin, head of the Ministry’s Missile and Artillery Directorate, whose detailed briefing on the missile parts, their origin,  and their deployment in the Ukrainian Army was broadcast from the Defence Ministry in Moscow on September 18, 2018. “The court finds that the relevant records relate to the years 1986 and 1987. In that light, the court does not see how interviewing this witness [Gen. Konashenkov]  can contribute to the question of where a specific missile mentioned in that record is located in the year 2014. For that reason alone the court is of the opinion that interviewing this witness cannot be of importance for any decision to be taken in the criminal case of the accused. The request is therefore rejected.”

Steenhuis repeated to the letter the prosecution’s argument,  presented in court on June 23,    that the Russian evidence should not be allowed in the trial. The judge has opted to accept the Ukrainian Government’s claim that the missile was not in the Ukrainian Army’s inventory in 2014.

Steenhuis did not explain why he accepts the Ukrainian Army version; rejects all Russian Army evidence in advance of its presentation to the court; and will allow no further evidence or witnesses to explain how, according to the Dutch prosecution story,  the Ukrainian Army missile found its way from a Ukrainian Army base to a Russian Army base, before being sent back across the border into Ukraine to attack MH17.

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MH17 TRIAL PROSECUTORS WARN JUDGES NOT TO UNRAVEL UKRAINIAN COVER-UP, REJECT CALLING RUSSIAN GENERAL KONASHENKOV TO TESTIFY

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

Dutch state prosecutors told the court in the trial of the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 that Major-General of the Russian Army Igor Konashenkov should not be allowed as a witness for the defence. To justify this in a hearing last Friday, the prosecutors revealed an illegal trick exposing the evidence in the case as a fit-up by the Ukrainian government’s military and security agencies.

Dismissing almost all the defence applications to the court for new evidence and witnesses, prosecutor Ferdinandusse* (lead image, right) said: “We do not see any reasonable grounds for accusing the prosecution of not being objective” (June 26 hearing,  Min 9:17).

The trick the prosecution has asked the court to accept is that apart from the Ukrainian government’s say-so, there is no chain of custody for the evidence of the weapon alleged to have been fired by the accused to destroy the aircraft and kill its occupants on July 17, 2014. If the Russian government says the Ukrainian government is lying, planting the evidence and   fabricating the chain of custody, the prosecution has told the court to ignore the Russians – believe the Ukrainians. Presented in court last Friday, this chain of custody argument has transformed the trial into a Ukrainian war operation conducted by Dutch proxies, and mercenaries.

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MAJOR GENERAL IGOR KONASHENKOV TO BE CALLED TO TESTIFY IN MH17 TRIAL – JUDGE STEENHUIS WILL RULE NEXT WEEK TO ACCEPT OR REFUSE EVIDENCE OF UKRAINIAN FINGERPRINTS ON THE WEAPON OF THE CRIME

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

One of the most prominent generals in the Russian Army is to be called to testify in the Dutch government’s trial of the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when district court judge Hendrik Steenhuis rules next week on whether to accept or refuse his evidence as a  witness for the defence.

According to the request filed in court this week, the evidence is of the Ukrainian Army’s fingerprints on the BUK missile which Dutch prosecutors allege was the weapon used to destroy the aircraft on July 17, 2014, killing 298 passengers and crew.

Without proof of the weapon, the Dutch prosecution has no case against the four soldiers  — three Russians, one Ukrainian —  accused of deploying the missile and preparing the attack against the aircraft. If Ukrainian Army fingerprints are verified on the weapon when the crime was committed, the Dutch case, and the worldwide media campaign against Russia, collapse.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov (lead image), the spokesman for the Defence Ministry in Moscow,   has been called to testify. If Judge Steenhuis refuses to allow him,  in a ruling promised for July 3, the trial will cease to follow Dutch law, and become a Dutch Government propaganda show.  

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IN MH17 TRIAL DUTCH LAWYERS PUT UP STRAWMAN DEFENCE – THEY ALLOW PROSECUTORS, JUDGE TO PROCEED TO CONVICTION

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

For a brief moment in the presentation this week of the defence case against the Dutch government’s indictment of Oleg Pulatov for murder in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the Dutch lawyer Boudewijn Van Eijck almost said there was no case to answer, and the indictment should be dismissed immediately for lack of evidence that is legal under Dutch law.

“The indictment is superficial when it comes to actual facts which the defendant is accused of,” Van Eijck (lead image, 2nd from left) said (June 22, Min 21:19). “It is not clear at this stage of this very question whether the actions would actually amount to a crime even if they could be proved.”

Van Eijck also warned the presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis (right) that he is on trial himself – that he should not continue the trial on the prosecution’s evidence, ignoring the defence requests for fresh investigation and new witnesses,  “in order to make sure that this case never has to be reviewed on appeal” (June 22, Min 42:35).  

The next day, Sabine ten Doessschate (1st left), the junior defence lawyer, summed up the defence case by undercutting her leader. She apologised to the Dutch press and to families of those killed on MH17 for presenting what she called “conspiracy theories”. “All of the topics which we have talked about,” ten Doesschate concluded on June 23, “for all of these we have asked ourselves, on the basis of what we have read, can we really say this is what really happened; and this is not the other thing which happened. And our answer is no. On the basis of the file we have at this moment it is impossible for us to say either one… this means we don’t have all the answers. Investigation of topics like these can give hard facts which can give the answer to the question, how was MH17 brought down. If we were not to ask in detail for investigation, we would not be able to look at ourselves in the mirror. This is the least that can be expected of us” (June 23, Min 2:53:19).

The Dutch defence lawyers have wound up defending themselves. Judge Steenhuis, who looks in a different mirror, has promised to issue his rulings on July 3.

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HOW THE DUTCH PROSECUTION AND THE JUDGE HAVE RIGGED THE OUTCOME OF THE MH17 TRIAL ON A CHARGE THAT REQUIRES NO PROOF

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The Dutch Government has devised an evidence-proof scheme for ensuring the trial of the Russian government for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will end in a conviction.

This scheme will work without evidence to prove that the four men accused of the crime of shooting down the aircraft, killing the 298 passengers and crew on board on July 17, 2014, intended to kill; or even intended to fire the missile which allegedly brought MH17 down.

The Dutch scheme is evidence-proof because no evidence will be needed, not from US satellite photographs which are missing; nor NATO airborne tracking which shows no missile; nor Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) evidence which has proved to have been fabricated, and in the case of Ukrainian witnesses for the prosecution, threatened, tortured or bribed.  

The scheme is also evidence-proof because the Dutch Prime Minister has told the Dutch Minister of Justice to order the state prosecutors to tell the state-appointed judge that he must convict the Russians if he finds as proven that MH17 crashed to the ground in eastern Ukraine; that everyone on board was killed; and that the four soldiers accused – three Russians and one Ukrainian – were on the ground fighting.

International war crimes lawyers are calling this a legal travesty. It was presented in court near Amsterdam by Dutch state prosecutor Thijs Berger on June 10. It has gone unnoticed in the mainstream western media. Russian reporters following the trial have missed it. The scheme was first reported in English and Russian by a NATO propaganda unit on June 12.

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UKRAINE SECRET SERVICE TELEPHONE TAPES, WITNESS TAMPERING, HATRED FOR RUSSIANS — DUTCH PROSECUTORS WIND UP PRESENTATION OF KIEV’S MH17 SHOW TRIAL

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

“I give you the floor”, Judge Hendrik Steenhuis announced to Prosecutor Thjs Berger, as he opened  the June 10 session of the MH17 murder trial, the sixth day of the hearing at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in The Netherlands.  The judge was referring to a court of law, not a stage show. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Berger began, certain it was a show he was opening. By the conclusion of his and Prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse’s presentations, it was clear the show the Dutch are putting on in Amsterdam has been scripted entirely in Kiev.  

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RUSSIA DID NOT HAND OVER SATELLITE IMAGES, MH17 COURT TOLD, THE US AND CHINA ALSO

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

A Dutch Government prosecutor has told the court trying charges of murder against the Russian state, three Russian soldiers and a Ukrainian in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that satellite images were requested from the US, Russia and China. The Russian reply, announced yesterday in court by prosecutor Thijs Berger, was that the Russian satellite images were “not stored”. The Chinese reply, he added, was that there had been a Chinese satellite above eastern Ukraine at the time of the MH17 downing, but it was “not operational”. All three governments – the US, Russia, and China – refused to provide satellite images.

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MH17 COURT CARTOON — DUTCH JUDGE PRESENTS BOMBSHELL, THE US DELIVERS DUD – NO SATELLITE EVIDENCE OF RUSSIAN SHOOTDOWN

by John Helmer, Moscow 
  @bears_with

The foundation stone of the Dutch prosecution of the Russian state, three Russian soldiers and a Ukrainian from Donbass for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is the US satellite imagery of the missile launch, trajectory, and detonation. The US Government publicly laid this foundation within hours of the incident, on July 17, 2014, following the destruction of the 298 people on board.

If the satellite images are not presented in the trial, which began hearings again this week, the prosecution case fails, either because the US refuses to declassify and release the images,  or because they don’t exist. If it can be proved that the US has lied about the satellite evidence, and that Dutch prosecutors are repeating this lie in court, then the defence will have the foundation for summary dismissal of the charges.

On March 23, the presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis issued an order for the prosecution to produce in court the US satellite images. This week, on June 8, Steenhuis announced the prosecution had responded with a memorandum prepared by another Dutch prosecutor interpreting the satellite images but without revealing them. “The American authorities informed us that they cannot provide any additional information regarding the launch of the missile… and the court understands from this that no further information is to be added to the file as a result.”

The judge did not say this is a violation of his disclosure order. The defence lawyers have not announced the evidence is hearsay, unverifiable, and inadmissible in a court of law. Neither the defence lawyers nor Steenhuis himself have charged the prosecution with contempt of court.  The prosecution lawyers, who are continuing this week with an outline of their case, are preparing to repeat the US lie.

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BLIND JUSTICE, DUMB LAWYERS IN THE MH17 TRIAL — NEW DUTCH COURT RULING ALLOWS SECRET WITNESS TESTIMONY FOR THE PROSECUTION

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

A new ruling by three Dutch judges in the trial of Russia for having shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will allow the Ukrainian secret service, the SBU, to present fabricated witness evidence without investigation or cross-examination by defence lawyers representing one of the four military officers accused of launching a BUK anti-aircraft missile at MH17. On July 17, 2014, the aircraft was destroyed above eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.  

The two Dutch defence lawyers, Sabine ten Doesschate (lead image, centre) and Boudewijn van Eijck (right), have attempted to keep the court proceeding secret since mid-March when they were asked to clarify if they had filed a challenge to the use of secret witness statements in the trial, which began hearings in public on March 9.

A secret hearing followed on April 6 when ten Doesschate appeared in person. Two weeks later, a 16-page judgement was signed by three judges of the District Court of The Hague, Alexander Boogers, B.W. Mulder, and Mariette Renckens; an official translation into English was then prepared.  Ten Doesschate and van Eijck were asked last Thursday morning, April 23, to confirm that the judgement had been issued.

“Should you fail to respond,” ten Dosschate and van Eijck were told, “you will be reported as conducting yourselves in a manner that is inconsistent with the duties of a lawyer in defence of a client in a serious criminal case, with the intention on your parts, individually and collectively, to dissemble, mislead, falsify, and prejudice the defence you claim to represent and for which you are receiving money in payment.” Ten Doesschate and van Eijck have refused to answer.

International criminal lawyers who have reviewed the detailed summary of the lawyers’ argument in the new court document have condemned ten Doesschate and van Eijck for their failure to make an adequate defence. They are “sweetheart lawyers working for the prosecution”, commented one.

Reviewing the Dutch ruling, Christopher Black, a Canadian attorney who defended in the international war crimes trials for Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, said “the defence in this trial has now been reduced to a fig leaf. From reading this [ruling] and the language [the judges] use, it appears the defence will never have a chance to properly contest the charges. Since they cannot do that, they should walk out, hold a press conference explaining why, and face the consequences.”

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THE MH17 TRIAL – THE FALSE FRONT

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Dutch lawyers leading the defence against the charge of premeditated murder in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, have no experience of litigation in cases involving aircraft crashes, war crimes, military crimes, or homicide – except for cases when they have defended Dutch police accused of shooting people on the streets of Rotterdam.     

The first of the defence lawyers, Sabine ten Doesschate, has never conducted a defence in a murder trial; in her short career so far, she has specialized in white collar fraud. Her leader, Boudewijn van Eijck, has a career record of defending Rotterdam police in collaboration with Rotterdam police commanders and prosecutors; at the time they included Fred Westerbeke, lead prosecutor of the MH17 investigation, and Dedy Woei-A-Tsoi, one of the three prosecutors now in court.

Asked if his relationships with them create a conflict for him to defend in this trial, van Eijck  refuses to answer.  “Our focus is the MH17 case,” he said through a spokesman on Friday, “not the professional careers of the lawyers.”

Ten Doeschate and van Eijck have announced they have engaged a Dutch public relations company called Headline Communications and a spokesman named Martin van Putten.  The company has no operating record in The Netherlands. Responding to questions emailed over two weeks about the two lawyers, their expertise to mount a professional defence, and their conflicts of interest, Van Putten at first lied; then insisted “we do not comment in the media until after the next [court] session on June 8th.”  When asked by telephone to clarify the lawyers’ silence and misleading statements he has made on their behalf, he cut the telephone line.

The third lawyer on the team, Yelena Kutyina, is a Moscow lawyer with trial experience defending media personalities in assault and injury compensation claims and appearing herself as a judge in television courtroom shows.  Asked to describe her experience in criminal trials, Kutyina refuses to answer.

“So far as I can tell,” commented veteran war crimes defence lawyer Christopher Black, a Canadian, “so far as I can tell, they are not acting like a real defence.”

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NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T – US SATELLITE EVIDENCE AND THE MH17 TRIAL

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The US satellite images proving that a BUK missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, have existed for twenty-three days – between July 20 and August 12, 2014. Since then they ceased to exist.  Since then too, for almost six years, no US Government official has claimed in public, nor told Dutch police, prosecutors, or military intelligence officials in secret, that the images can be viewed with the naked eye.

A week ago, on March 23, Hendrik Steenhuis, a judge of The Hague District Court, ordered the production and disclosure of these US satellite images as evidence in the trial of four men accused of transporting the missile to its launch site, participating in the order to fire, and intending to kill all 298 people on board the aircraft.

Steenhuis, the presiding trial judge, gave Dutch prosecutors until June 8 to comply with the order and prove the satellite images exist. If they do not, the foundation of the case against the four accused, and against the Russian military and political command for ordering the BUK launched, will collapse.

Lawyers with experience in comparable international tribunals are sceptical of both Judge Steenhuis’s order, and of the likelihood the US Government and Dutch prosecutors will obey it.  Christopher Black was a Canadian lawyer for the defence in the Yugoslav trials beginning in 1993, and the Rwanda trials commencing in 1994. He says: “In our trial at the ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda] we pushed the judges to order the prosecution to produce what they claimed they had. Several times under our browbeating, they did make such orders. But they were never followed up. The prosecution never complied, even when a couple of times they were roasted by the judges for disregarding their orders. They didn’t care and nothing was done. We think it was all window-dressing for the press in order to make the judges appear neutral when they were part of the prosecution.”

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ANGLO-AMERICAN STANDARD OR DUTCH TREAT – WILL THE MH17 TRIAL STOP FOR LACK OF EVIDENCE OR END IN ACQUITTAL?

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

“Where no case is made out against a man, or such a flimsy one that it cannot stand on its feet, he is entitled to say: ‘I ask the jury to say that I am not guilty without hearing a word from me.’”

That sentence was written almost sixty years ago by one of the most brilliant tellers of courtroom stories in the English language, Henry Cecil. Nom de plume of an English county court judge,  Cecil  put the words in the mouth of the barrister for the defendant, in his summing-up for the jury. The story is a whodunit, with much of Cecil’s characteristic poking of fun and then, at the end — well, a surprise I shan’t reveal.

In the tale of the trial of four defendants accused of murder in the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17, there are no jokes. But the proceedings which commenced at Schiphol, in The Netherlands, on March 9 and adjourned on March 23 for ten weeks, did have a surprise ending. That is also the point of Cecil’s defence speech. The point is that the Dutch prosecutors have revealed the case they are making out against the defendants, and also,  they insist, against the Russian state, is such a flimsy one, it cannot stand on its own feet. It should therefore be dismissed by the panel of three judges.

Recognizing this in his first ruling, issued on March 23, Hendrik Steenhuis, the presiding judge, gave the prosecution, the Dutch Government behind them,  and the US Government behind them,  one last chance.

This was his order to produce in court the crucial piece of evidence on which the case of murder depends – the US satellite images which US officials have long claimed to prove the firing of a BUK missile at MH17 and to have reported in secret to Dutch intelligence. But since the evidence of the chief of Dutch military intelligence, and also of the investigating police and prosecutors – official secrets now leaked in public – is that the US has not provided the evidence, the judge’s order is an ultimatum.

If the evidence isn’t produced by June 8, when the court resumes, the court will be asked to rule that the defendants have no case to answer.

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JUDGE DROPS A BOMBSHELL IN MH17 TRIAL – DUTCH PROSECUTORS CONCEAL COURT ORDER TO PRODUCE US SATELLITE DATA ALLEGEDLY SHOWING BUK MISSILE FIRING

by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The presiding judge in the trial of murder in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, dropped a bombshell at the end of his 45-minute ruling presented in court in The Netherlands yesterday.   

The Dutch prosecutors are now attempting to cover it up. A press spokesman, Monique Buunk, was asked for a copy of the judge’s ruling. She declined and refused to explain. A summary of the ruling issued by the prosecution press office on Monday afternoon said only: “the court also put a number of questions to the prosecution and counsel for the relatives.” The court has now adjourned until June 8.

Reading from a prepared paper, Judge Hendrik Steenhuis (lead image) ordered the Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team, which has provided the evidence for the murder charges, to report to the court whether US satellite data, allegedly showing the firing of a BUK missile to bring down the aircraft, have been provided to the investigation. The judge’s order also requires the prosecutors to explain whether the American satellite evidence can now be released to the court and to the lawyers representing Oleg Pulatov, one of the four men accused in the firing of the missile.

On January 22, 2016, according to Steenhuis , Dutch members of parliament were briefed by a Dutch satellite expert at a parliamentary discussion of the MH17 case that “the US has satellite images of the missile being fired”, and that these images were “shared with Dutch intelligence.” According to Steenhuis, the MP also announced “the US has no objection to declassification”. “Is this correct?” Steenhuis issued an order to the prosecutors for reply. “Is this satellite data to be released?”

The order for disclosure of the US satellite evidence opens in court for the first time the possibility that the Dutch prosecution may not be able to produce the satellite images because the US has not released them;  because a Dutch military intelligence report of September 21, 2016,  says it had received from the US no satellite imagery of a BUK missile launch at MH17; and because the US claim to have the satellite data is a fabrication. 

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RED HAS TURNED YELLOW – THE GREEK AND CYPRIOT COMMUNISTS ARE FLYING A DIFFERENT FLAG IN THE UKRAINE WAR



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Ukraine war is splitting the communist parties of Europe between those taking the US side, and those on the Russian side.

In an unusual public criticism of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and of smaller communist parties in Europe which have endorsed the Greek criticism of Russia for waging an “imperialist” war against the Ukraine, the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) has responded this week with a 3,300-word declaration:  “The military conflict in Ukraine,” the party said, “cannot be described as an imperialist war, as our comrades would argue. It is essentially a national liberation war of the people of Donbass. From Russia’s point of view it is a struggle against an external threat to national security and against Fascism.”

By contrast, the Russian communists have not bothered to send advice, or air public criticism of the Cypriot communists and their party, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). On March 2, AKEL issued a communiqué “condemn[ing] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukrainian territories….[and] stresses that the Russian Federation’s action in recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions constitutes a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states.”

 To the KPRF in Moscow the Cypriots are below contempt; the Greeks are a fraction above it.

A Greek-Cypriot veteran of Cypriot politics and unaffiliated academic explains: “The Cypriot communists do not allow themselves to suffer for what they profess to believe. Actually, they are a misnomer. They are the American party of the left in Cyprus, just as [President Nikos] Anastasiades is the American party of the right.” As for the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza – with 85 seats of the Greek parliament’s 300, the leading party of the opposition – the KKE (with 15 seats), and Yanis Varoufakis of MeRA25 (9 seats), the source adds: “The communists are irrelevant in Europe and in the US, except in the very narrow context of Greek party politics.”

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IF IT SMELLS ALLURING, IT’S RUSSIAN – IN WARTIME L’ORÉAL (FRANCE) AND ESTÉE LAUDER (US) MAKE A BAD SMELL



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The war plan of the US and the European allies is destroying the Russian market for traditional French perfumes, the profits of the French and American conglomerates which own the best-known brands, the bonuses of their managers, and the dividends of their shareholders. The odour  of these losses is too strong for artificial fresheners.

Givaudan, the Swiss-based world leader in production and supply of fragrances, oils and other beauty product ingredients, has long regarded the Russian market as potentially its largest in Europe; it is one of the fastest growing contributors to Givaudan’s profit worldwide. In the recovery from the pandemic of Givaudan’s Fragrance and Beauty division – it accounts for almost half the company’s total sales — the group reported “excellent double-digit growth in 2021, demonstrating strong consumer demand for these product categories.”    Until this year, Givaudan reveals in its latest financial report, the growth rate for Russian demand was double-digit – much faster than the  6.3% sales growth in Europe overall; faster growth than in Germany, Belgium and Spain.    

Between February 2014, when the coup in Kiev started the US war against Russia, and last December, when the Russian non-aggression treaties with the US and NATO were rejected,   Givaudan’s share price jumped three and a half times – from 1,380 Swiss francs to 4,792 francs; from a company with a market capitalisation of 12.7 billion francs ($12.7 billion) to a value of 44.2 billion francs ($44.2 billion). Since the fighting began in eastern Ukraine this year until now, Givaudan has lost 24% of that value – that’s $10 billion.  

The largest of Givaudan’s shareholders is Bill Gates. With his 14%, plus the 10% controlled by Black Rock of New York and MFS of Boston, the US has effective control over the company.

Now, according to the US war sanctions, trade with Russia and the required payment systems have been closed down, alongside the bans on the importation of the leading European perfumes. So in place of the French perfumers, instead of Givaudan, the Russian industry is reorganizing for its future growth with its own perfume brands manufactured from raw materials produced in Crimea and other regions, or supplied by India and China. Givaudan, L’Oréal (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent), Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci), LVMH (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy), Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clarins – they have all cut off their noses to spite the Russian face.

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THE WAR AGAINST FOOD – WHO IS TO BLAME



By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

This week President Joseph Biden stopped at an Illinois farm to say he’s going to help the  Ukraine ship 20 million tonnes of wheat and corn out of storage into export, thereby relieving  grain shortages in the international markets and lowering bread prices around the world.  Biden was trying to play a hand in which his cards have already been clipped. By Biden.  

The first Washington-Kiev war plan for eastern Ukraine has already lost about 40% of the Ukrainian wheat fields, 50% of the barley, and all of the grain export ports. Their second war plan to hold the western region defence lines with mobile armour, tanks, and artillery  now risks the loss of the corn and rapeseed crop as well as the export route for trucks to Romania and Moldova. What will be saved in western Ukraine will be unable to grow enough to feed its own people. They will be forced to import US wheat, as well as US guns and the money to pay for both.

Biden told his audience that on the Delaware farms he used to represent in the US Senate “there are more chickens than there are Americans.”  Blaming the Russians is the other card Biden has left.  

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EXILE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The problem with living in exile is the meaning of the word. If you’re in exile, you mean you are forever looking backwards, in geography as well as in time. You’re not only out of place; you’re out of time — yesterday’s man.

Ovid, the Roman poet who was sent into exile from Rome by Caesar Augustus, for offences neither Augustus nor Ovid revealed, never stopped looking back to Rome. His exile, as Ovid described it, was “a barbarous coast, inured to rapine/stalked ever by bloodshed, murder, war.” In such a place or state, he said, “writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.”

The word itself, exsilium in Roman law, was the sentence of loss of citizenship as an alternative to loss of life, capital punishment. It meant being compelled to live outside Rome at a location decided by the emperor. The penalty took several degrees of isolation and severity. In Ovid’s case, he was ordered by Augustus to be shipped to the northeastern limit of the Roman empire,  the Black Sea town called Tomis; it is now Constanta, Romania. Ovid’s last books, Tristia (“Sorrows”) and Epistulae ex Ponto (“Black Sea Letters”), were written from this exile, which began when he was 50 years old, in 8 AD, and ended when he died in Tomis nine years year later, in 17 AD.  

In my case I’ve been driven into exile more than once. The current one is lasting the longest. This is the one from Moscow, which began with my expulsion by the Foreign Ministry on September 28, 2010.  The official sentence is Article 27(1) of the law No. 114-FZ — “necessary for the purposes of defence capability or security of the state, or public order, or protection of health of the population.” The reason, a foreign ministry official told an immigration service official when they didn’t know they were being overheard, was: “Helmer writes bad things about Russia.”

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IN THE FOG OF WAR THERE’S THE GUTERRES CERTAINTY AND THE CADIEU CERTAINTY – GORILLA RADIO SEES THROUGH THE COVER-UP



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), who attempted last month  to arrange the escape from Russian capture of Ukrainian soldiers and NATO commanders,  knowing they had committed war crimes. He was asked to explain; he refuses.   

Trevor Cadieu is a Canadian lieutenant-general who was appointed the chief of staff and head of the Canadian Armed Forces last August; was stopped in September; retired from the Army this past April, and went to the Ukraine, where he is in hiding. From whom he is hiding – Canadians or Russians – where he is hiding, and what he will say to explain are questions Cadieu isn’t answering, yet.

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DID UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES COMMIT A WAR CRIME AT AZOVSTAL?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is refusing this week to answer questions on the role he played in the recent attempt by US, British, Canadian and other foreign combatants to escape the bunkers under the Azovstal plant, using the human shield of civilians trying to evacuate.

In Guterres’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on April 26 (lead image), Putin warned Guterres he had been “misled” in his efforts. “The simplest thing”, Putin told Guterres in the recorded part of their meeting, “for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.”  

This war crime has been recognized since 1977 by the UN in Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention.  In US law for US soldiers and state officials, planning to employ or actually using human shields is a war crime to be prosecuted under 10 US Code Section 950t.  

Instead, Guterres ignored the Kremlin warning and the war crime law, and authorized UN officials, together with Red Cross officials,  to conceal what Guterres himself knew of the foreign military group trying to escape. Overnight from New York, Guterres has refused to say what he knew of the military escape operation, and what he had done to distinguish, or conceal the differences between the civilians and combatants in the evacuation plan over the weekend of April 30-May 1.May.

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THE LAST DITCH IS POLAND – RUSSIA’S PHASE-3 PLAN FOR WESTERN UKRAINE



By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The more western politicians announce pledges of fresh weapons for the Ukraine, the more Russian military analysts explain what options their official sources are considering to destroy the arms before they reach the eastern front, and to neutralize Poland’s role as the NATO  hub for resupply and reinforcement of the last-ditch holdout of western Ukraine.

“I would like to note,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, repeated yesterday, “that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or material means for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction”.  He means the Ukraine border is the red line.

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THE MATLIN PLOT, THE BROWDER PLOT AND THE NEW YORK TIMES PLOT



By Lucy Komisar,  New York*
  @bears_with

Here’s a story the New York Times has just missed.

US politicians and media pundits are promoting the targeting of “enablers” of Russian oligarchs who stash their money in offshore accounts. A Times article of March 11   highlighted Michael Matlin, CEO of Concord Management as such an “enabler.” But the newspaper missed serious corruption Matlin was involved in. Maybe that’s because Matlin cheated Russia, and also because the Matlin story exposes the William Browder/Sergei Magnitsky hoax aimed at Russia.

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YELLOW COAL, THE FUEL MADE OUT OF RACE HATRED — MAY DAY MESSAGE FROM SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY, 1939



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.

Called yellow coal, this invention originated with Professor Leker at Harvard University. It was applied, first to running municipal trams, then to army weapons, and finally to cheap electrification of everything from domestic homes and office buildings to factory production lines. In Russian leker means a quack doctor.

The Harvard professor’s idea was to concentrate the neuro-muscular energy people produce when they hate each other.  Generated as bile (yellow), accumulated and concentrated into kinetic spite in machines called myeloabsorberators, Krzhizhanovsky called this globalization process the bilification of society.

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IS CAESARISM THE PROBLEM, THE SOLUTION, A FANCY DRESS COSTUME, OR A PROPAGANDA CARTOON?



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In imperial history there is nothing new in cases of dementia in rulers attracting homicidal psychopaths to replace them.  It’s as natural as honey attracts bees.

When US President Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke on October 19, 1919, he was partially paralysed and blinded, and was no longer able to feed himself, sign his name, or speak normally; he was not demented.

While his wife and the Navy officer  who was his personal physician concealed his condition, there is no evidence that either Edith Wilson or Admiral Cary Grayson were themselves clinical cases of disability, delusion,  or derangement. They were simply liars driven by the ambition to hold on to the power of the president’s office and deceive everyone who got in their way.  

The White House is always full of people like that. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is meant to put a damper on their homicidal tendencies.

What is unusual, probably exceptional in the current case of President Joseph Biden, not to mention the history of the United States,  is the extent of the president’s personal incapacitation; combined with the clinical evidence of psychopathology in his Secretary of State Antony Blinken;  and the delusional condition of the rivals to replace Biden, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Like Rome during the first century AD, Washington is now in the ailing emperor-homicidal legionary phase.  But give it another century or two, and the madness, bloodshed, and lies of the characters of the moment won’t matter quite as much as their images on display in the museums of their successors craving legitimacy, or of successor powers celebrating their superiority.  

Exactly this has happened to the original Caesars, as a new book by Mary Beard, a Cambridge University professor of classics, explains. The biggest point of her book, she says, is “dynastic succession” – not only of the original Romans but of those modern rulers who acquired the Roman portraits in marble and later copies in paint, and the copies of those copies, with the idea of communicating “the idea of the direct transfer of power from ancient Romans to Franks and on to later German rulers.”

In the case she narrates of the most famous English owner of a series of the “Twelve Caesars”, King Charles I — instigator of the civil war of 1642-51 and the loser of both the war and his head – the display of his Caesars was intended to demonstrate the king’s self-serving “missing link” between his one-man rule and the ancient Romans who murdered their way to rule, and then apotheosized into immortal gods in what they hoped would be a natural death on a comfortable bed.

With the American and Russian successions due to take place in Washington and Moscow in two years’ time, Beard’s “Twelve Caesars, Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern”,  is just the ticket from now to then.

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