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Sjöcrona Van Stigt Advocaten .

Sjöcrona Van Stigt Advocaten - https://www.svs.law/en/
  -  http://kovler.ru/

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3 2020 https://www.svs.law/en/news/office-news … 7-inquiry/
DEFENSE TEAM MH-17 INQUIRY
One of the suspects in the MH-17 case will be defended by an international defense team, consisting of two Dutch lawyers and one Russian lawyer:  Boudewijn van Eijck and Sabine ten Doesschate from our firm, and Elena Kutina (Russian) from Moscow Bar Association Kovler and Partners.

In a Dutch magazine, the Advocatenblad, an interview with mr. Van Eijck and ms. Ten Doesschate can be found, advocatenblad.nl.

A response to the court decision on appeal regarding the anonymous witnesses, can be read here.


https://www.advocatenblad.nl/2020/02/03 … air-trial/

VERDACHTE MH17-ZAAK VERDIENT FAIR TRIAL
De Rotterdamse strafrechtadvocaten Boudewijn van Eijck en Sabine ten Doesschate van het kantoor Sjöcrona Van Stigt gaan één van de vier verdachten in de MH17-zaak verdedigen. Het gaat waarschijnlijk om de Rus Oleg Pulatov. Wij begrijpen dat deze verschrikkelijke vliegramp voor veel emoties zorgt, benadrukken beide advocaten. Tegelijk is het cruciaal in een rechtsstaat dat iedereen een eerlijk proces krijgt.

DOOR STIJN DUNK
3 FEBRUARI 2020
20-01-29-6
https://files.advocatenblad.nl/app/uploads/2020/01/30141929/20-01-29-6-1680x1120.jpg

Boudewijn van Eijck en Sabine ten Doesschate van SVS Advocaten.
Sjoerd van der Hucht

Het proces tegen de vier verdachten (zie kadertekst) in de MH17-zaak begint op 9 maart. Eind januari werd bekend dat een van de vier verdachten vertegenwoordigd wordt door een Nederlands advocatenkantoor. Dat blijkt het kantoor Sjöcrona Van Stigt Advocaten (SVS) te zijn, dat ervaring heeft in het behandelen van grote internationale strafzaken. Van Eijck (57) en Ten Doesschate (39) vormen met de Russische advocaat Elena Kutina van Kovler and Partners in Moskou een verdedigingsteam. Om welke verdachte het gaat, willen Van Eijck en Doesschate niet bekend maken. Kutina heeft maandag tegenover het Russische persbureau Tass echter verklaard dat het gaat om de Russische verdachte Oleg Pulatov. Pulatov, voormalig Russische militair, was in 2014 plaatsvervangend hoofd van de inlichtingendienst in de volksrepubliek Donetsk. Vanuit deze republiek werd de raket op de MH17 afgeschoten.

Houden jullie als kantoor rekening met reacties uit de samenleving in deze zaak?

Ten Doesschate en van Eijck: Wij begrijpen heel goed dat deze rechtszaak over de verschrikkelijke vliegramp in 2014 voor veel emoties zorgt. Wij vinden het belangrijk te benadrukken dat we de zaak voor de nabestaanden met respect zullen behandelen. Er zijn 298 mensen, onder wie 196 Nederlanders, omgekomen bij deze ramp. Dat is een zeer gevoelig gegeven in deze zaak. Dat beseffen wij donders goed.

Wat is jullie belangrijkste motief om deze zaak aan te nemen?

Ten Doesschate: Het is cruciaal in de rechtsstaat dat elke verdachte juridische bijstand krijgt. Iedereen heeft recht op een eerlijk proces. Dat is niet voor iedereen vanzelfsprekend, maar voor ons als strafrechtadvocaten is dat ontzettend belangrijk. Juist ook in zon beladen zaak is het van belang dat verdachten een onafhankelijke en objectieve advocaat krijgen. Die hun kant van de zaak belicht.

Hebben jullie de zaak eerst verkend en extra overwogen voordat jullie ja zeiden?

Van Eijck: Net zoals bij elke potentiële cliënt hebben wij een verkenning gedaan. Voor ons was als eerste van belang of er tijdens het ongeluk mensen zijn omgekomen die bij advocaten of medewerkers van ons kantoor zodanig bekend waren dat onze bijstand niet passend zou zijn. Dat was niet zo.  Vervolgens is het belangrijk om te weten wat de rechtspositie van onze cliënt is en of wij toegang tot hem kunnen krijgen. Helaas kunnen wij geen mededelingen doen over de vraag of dit contact er inmiddels is. Ten Doesschate: Verder moesten we checken of ons kantoor de workload aan zou kunnen. We begrepen dat het dossier dat we nog niet hebben ontvangen zon 30.000 paginas beslaat. Gelukkig werken er op ons kantoor achttien gespecialiseerde advocaten die gewend zijn om een steentje bij te dragen in grote strafzaken. Gaandeweg de verkenning gingen de stoplichten op groen. We hebben er extra goed over nagedacht en er uiteindelijk met overtuiging voor gekozen.

De samenwerking is tot stand gekomen op initiatief van de Russische advocate Elena Kutina. Hoe gaat die in de praktijk verlopen?

Van Eijck: We vormen samen een verdedigingsteam. Kutina mag hier niet optreden namens de verdachte, wel levert zij relevante informatie aan voor onze verdediging. Net zoals wij informatie aanleveren aan samenwerkende buitenlandse collegas in internationale zaken. Ten Doesschate: We zullen vooral een beroep op haar doen waar het gaat om de feitelijk-materiële aspecten. Zijn alle feiten in het dossier juist? Daar zullen we zelf veel onderzoek naar doen en zij kan ons helpen die vragen te beantwoorden. Het juridisch-formele gedeelte is hoofdzakelijk Nederlands en zullen wij vooral voor onze rekening nemen

Alle vier verdachten vallen direct of indirect binnen de Russische invloedsfeer. Zijn jullie huiverig dat jullie cliënt daardoor niet vrij zal zijn in zijn keuzes en uitspraken?

Van Eijck: Daar kunnen we niet op ingaan.

Door de intensieve berichtgeving over de zaak heeft de publieke opinie de verdachten wellicht al veroordeeld. Ligt trial by media op de loer?

Van Eijck: Dat is bij een ramp als deze in zekere zin onvermijdelijk. Je hebt te maken met een grote groep mensen die door de ramp is geraakt. Die nemen kennis van de bevindingen van de Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid, het Joint Investigation Team, Bellingcat en vele anderen. In het tijdperk van online media en Twitter is het bijna niet voor te stellen dat er geen trial by media zou zijn. Het is ook een illusie om te denken dat de berichtgeving aan de rechters van de rechtbank voorbij gaat. Het risico dat nog te horen getuigen door de enorme stroom aan informatie zijn beïnvloed, is daardoor ook een gegeven. De hele wereld kijkt met een vergrootglas naar dit proces en dat maakt ons werk extra bijzonder.

Ten Doesschate: Aan ons de taak om desondanks alles in het werk te stellen ten behoeve van een fair trial. Voor ons als strafrechtadvocaten ís het juist dan een enorme vakmatige uitdaging om aan een verdachte rechtsbijstand te verlenen. Van Eijck: Daarbij scheelt het dat we als kantoor een ruime ervaring hebben met het optreden in zaken waarin trial by media op de loer ligt, zoals bijvoorbeeld bij het verdedigen van politiemensen. Daar is het beeld in de media regelmatig ook tegen je cliënt gekant. Inderdaad, een kantoorgenoot van ons heeft opgetreden in de zaak Mitch Henriquez. Dat zijn mediagevoelige zaken.

Hoe willen jullie zelf met de media omgaan?

Van Eijck: We zijn niet van plan veelvuldig in allerlei talkshows te gaan optreden. De zaak gaat naar verwachting jaren duren, maar wij zullen in die tijd nauwelijks in de media zichtbaar zijn. Dit interview is een van de weinige optredens. Wij willen ons laten zien in de rechtszaal, bij het uitoefenen van ons vak. Het motto van ons kantoor is al 28 jaar High profile, low key. Daar voelen we ons prettig bij.

Het MH17-proces

In het MH17-proces staan vier verdachten terecht die vervolgd worden voor het doen verongelukken van vlucht MH17 op 17 juli 2014 en tevens voor de moord op de 298 inzittenden. Het Openbaar Ministerie stelt op basis van het onderzoek van het Joint Investigation Team (JIT) dat vlucht MH17 is neergeschoten door een raket uit een BUK-lanceerinstallatie, die vanuit de Russische Federatie vervoerd is naar de volksrepubliek Donetsk in Oost-Oekraïne. Volgens het OM hebben de vier verdachten, drie Russen en een Oekraïner, ieder hun eigen aandeel hierin gehad.

Het gaat om de Russen Igor Girkin (in 2014 legerbevelhebber en minister van defensie van de volksrepubliek Donetsk), Sergej Dubinski, (hoofd inlichtingendienst van de volksrepubliek) en Oleg Pulatov, (plaatsvervangend hoofd inlichtingendienst). De Oekraïner is Leonid Kharchenko, commandant van een Donetsk-gevechtseenheid.

Om uitlevering van de verdachten is niet gevraagd. Dit omdat Rusland noch Oekraïne onderdanen uitleveren. Het landelijk parket heeft de vier mannen wel met klem gevraagd op te komen dagen voor de zittingen. SVS staat één van de vier bij. Het is vooralsnog onbekend of de andere verdachten zich tot Nederlandse kantoren hebben gewend.

De inhoud van dit bericht is maandag 3 februari om 16.00u aangepast.

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Defense response to the court decision on appeal regarding the anonymous witnesses  https://www.svs.law/files/defense-respo … nesses.pdf
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The court decided today on the appeals against the decision of the examining magistrate to aIIow
anonymous witnesses.

The basic principle of the Iaw is that witnesses are not heard anonymously. That is why strict
conditions are set by Iaw. This strictness is mainly due to the fact that the reliability of anonymous
witnesses can hardly be assessed, which is in contrast to witnesses who are not heard anonymously,
but under their own identity and in public. Furthermore, in a fair trial, ít is crucíal that unlimited
questions can be asked to a witness also on behalf of the suspect. This way, the reliability of that
witness can be tested. Where anonymous witnesses are concerned, not only the defense, but also
the court has no idea who the witness is. As a result, questions wiIl remain at aII times as to how the
witness obtained his or her information and how credible the information is.

In view of those violations of defense rights, the Iegíslator has created strict conditions for hearing an
anonymous witness, which may only be done in exceptional cases. These conditions include, among
other things, that the defense is heard by the examining magistrate before a decision is made on
whether a witness may remain anonymous. This way, the defense (and not only the Public
Prosecution service) can also put forward its opinion before the examining magistrate decides
whether it is really necessary that the identity of a witness must be kept hidden. The examining
magistrate's decision (the "status decision") must then be notified to the suspect without delay. If
the defense does not agree with the status decision, the defense can appeal against it. If the court
agrees with the appeal, the witness wiII not be heard anonymously. If the appeal is considered
unfounded, the witness wiII in principle only be heard afterwards. In general, the defense may also
be present during that hearing. If this is impossible because of the investigation, the suspect may ask
questions in another way.
In the MH17 case, the examining magistrate violated the aforementíoned rules at the request of the
Puinc Prosecutíon Service. For example, the witnesses have already been heard without the defense
being present. In fact, the defense was not informed about thìs and couId therefore not take a
position or ask questions in advance. For that reason, the defense has appealed.

The court declared today that the appeal was weII-founded and partly unfounded. According to the
court, one of the witnesses was unIawfuIIy heard without the suspect being given the opportuníty to
comment on the request for anonymous hearing. The examining magistrate's decision on thìs
witness must therefore be overturned. Regarding the other anonymous witnesses, the court has
considered that the position of the defense, insofar as it relates to violations of the Iaw after the
status decision was made, wìII not be assessed by the court at this time. This means that these
decisions of the examining magistrate and the records of the anonymous witness hearings wiIl not be
overturned, despite violations of the Iaw alleged by the defense.

During the substantive, later, hearing of the case, the court wiII have to decide whether the
statements of the anonymous witnesses may be used as evidence. The defense can then raise its
objections to the use of the statements of those anonymous witnesses again. Today's decision is in
thìs sense a provisional one.

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3 2020
EXPLANATION OF THE STATE OF AFFAIRS BY THE DEFENSE ON 3 JULY 2020
https://www.svs.law/en/procespagina/#
https://www.svs.law/en/pdf/?page_id=293
State of affairs: investigation phase
The JIT has conducted research for six years. The results can be found in the research files. The part of those files that the
Public Prosecution Service deems relevant to the criminal case has been included in the case files (in Dutch referred to as
the trial files) . The case files were provided to the court and the defense. The defense has not yet had access to the
investigation files.
During the trial days of 8, 9 and 10 June 2020, the Prosecutors discussed a main scenario, as well as a number of
alternative scenarios, including the scenario that a fighter was in the vicinity of MH17 and / or the possibility that MH17
was shot down with a Buk missile from the Ukrainian armed forces. During those trial days, the Prosecutors explained what
research was conducted into the various scenarios and why, from the point of view of the JIT and the Public Prosecution
Service, the alternative scenarios should be excluded.
As we announced on the first trial day on March 9, 2020, Oleg Pulatov takes the position that he is not responsible - not
through any contribution, nor in any capacity whatsoever for the downing of flight MH17 and / or the consequences
thereof. In simple terms, he states that he had nothing to do with the downing of MH17. For this reason, he has authorized
lawyers to investigate the available files and to defend him on his behalf. He wants the allegations to be investigated to
uncover the truth about this tragedy.
The core of the charge against Oleg Pulatov is that flight MH17 was shot down with a Buk missile allegedly fired by the
separatists. One of the main tasks of the defense is to investigate whether there is sufficient evidence in the trial files for the
allegations against Pulatov and the Prosecutors conclusions. Part of that task of the defense is to investigate whether things
could have gone differently than what the Prosecutors conclude. In other words: whether it can be ruled out that flight MH17
was brought down in another way and/or by others.
As we pointed out during the trial on June 22, 2020, Truth-finding () must be the focus of this process. However, it is
undeniably true that the objective truth-finding in this criminal case has been greatly delayed by all publications. After all,
who believes in a different scenario than the scenario shown to the world in audio and video form by the JIT and the Public
Prosecution Service ever since August 2014? But that is exactly the question that we must ask ourselves for the sake of
finding the truth: are we really certain that it has been no different than what the Public Prosecution Service calls the main
scenario?
Questions and requests from the defense
Meanwhile, the defense has been able to study large parts of the case files and has come to the conclusion that many
questions remain unanswered and that the JIT and the OM have drawn conclusions based on incomplete and/or incorrect
information. The defense has established that, partly for this reason, it is not clear how MH17 was shot down, let alone by
whom.
On 22 and 23 June 2020, the defense appointed which questions, among other things, were not investigated or not
answered by the Public Prosecution Service, and on which parts (the results of) the investigation by JIT is/are incomplete.
This includes questions such as:
Why are the satellite images not available for us, especially since, according to the Public Prosecution Service and
the USA, on those images it supposedly is visible how flight MH17 was brought down? Those images may provide the
answers to the question of how MH17 was shot down; why didn't the JIT really try - just nicely asked, and not even
since 2016 - to get those images? How do we get those images?
Why were soil samples taken from the location where, according to the JIT, the Buk missile was fired from, but why
were these samples not examined? Why wasn't that even tried?
Why were only telephone taps from the separatists obtained and investigated, but no telephone taps from the
Ukrainian armed forces? The Ukrainian armed forces, which had countless Buk missiles and waged war in the area
above which MH17 was shot down; wasn't it interesting to know what they discussed on and around July 17, 2014?
Why did the JIT assume that there were no warplanes, based on data provided by the Ukrainian authorities? Why has
nothing been done with the information of the many eyewitnesses who were interrogated by the JIT and/or otherwise
shared their knowledge?
How is it possible that no more Ukrainian radar data is available; what has been tried to find out, why does the JIT
almost unquestionably assume from Ukraine that those data would not be available?
In addition, the defense questions the way in which research was conducted by and on behalf of the JIT. Has the research
been done with an open mind? Has the focus not been too much on finding evidence for the main scenario of the Public
Prosecution Service, instead of looking for answers for the (open) question of how flight MH17 was brought down? The
danger of paying too much attention to the main scenario lies in the lack of research that may yield conflicting findings
(conflicting with that main scenario), and in the lack of space for an objective valuation of such findings.

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The value of information on the internet?
The defense is obviously aware of the fact that there is a lot to be found on the internet about the reliability of certain
sources. Among other things regarding the (eye) witnesses, about whom during the hearing the Public Prosecutions Service
and the defense showed videos, some of which are also in the case files. The defense has emphasized that first, the
authenticity of that material must be investigated, for instance by asking the filmmakers questions concerning the
authenticity. This way, the defense tries to determine whether there are indications that the witnesses shown, are reliable
and therefore there might be a reason to conduct more research. Or, whether there is no such reason. In this phase, the
defense does not claim to know whether those witnesses are reliable.
Furthermore, it is clear that there is a lot of criticism on the internet about the reliability of the witnesses. However, there is
also a lot of information on the internet about the credibility of that criticism; claims that behind that criticism would be proWestern or pro-Russian forces. What is true? That is not up to the defense to determine; to make that choice based on public
internet sources. It is the responsibility of the defense to investigate whether these sources are reliable. The defense does
not claim that these sources are reliable, but wants to investigate whether the sources are reliable.
The information should not (only) be available on the internet, but should be part of the case files
The defense is surprised that after six years of investigation by the JIT, the information, based on which an opinion can be
formed about the reliability or the value of certain sources and about the circumstances of the disaster, is not or not fully
included in the case files. In due course, the court will have to assess the indictment on the basis of what is in these case
files. It is therefore necessary that the information on the basis of which, for example, the question of evidence must be
answered, ends up in the case files. The questions and requests of the defense are aimed at this: correct and complete
information must be included in the case files, so that a complete and reliable picture of the facts can be obtained.
Research by defense in the Dutch legal system
In the Dutch legal system, the investigation of the defense takes place at the request of the defense, but it is (largely)
conducted in the presence of an investigating judge. The defense therefore usually does not investigate itself (on the basis
of public sources, for example) whether witnesses are reliable or not; the defense asks the judge whether that investigation
can be conducted, for example by hearing certain witnesses. If such requests are granted, that investigation is conducted
under the direction of a (usually: investigative) judge. That is why the defense asks the court to investigate (among other
things) the reliability of certain sources. It is the first beginning of the research phase; no position is taken yet by the
defense. The question marks are named and further investigation may follow. The defense asked the court to be given the
opportunity to take knowledge of certain information and to ask questions to certain witnesses and experts. Hopefully, on
the basis of that research, an assessment can be made about the reliability of certain materials and new insights can be
gained about the circumstances of this disaster.
When possible, the defense has chosen (and requested) the least time-consuming way of investigation.
Court decision
The court has allowed an important part of the requested investigation by the defense. For example, it has been determined
that further research must be conducted into the availability of the satellite images and the possible launch site. Additional
research will also be conducted into the precise functioning of a Buk missile and how a target is identified.
The Public Prosecution Service had asked the court to reject the defense's investigation requests that focus on the possibility
of alternative scenarios. However, the court has not yet made a decision about those investigation requests. In our view, the
court has rightly stated that first, it wishes to take notice of all the defense's investigation requests. So also from the
research that the defense wishes to conduct to the main scenario.
What can also play a role in the assessment of the research wishes is what our client thinks of the case files. Due to the
corona measures, we have not yet been able to go through the files with him. We will do that as soon as possible. The court
has indicated that it will now give it until November 2020.
In short, it cannot yet be said that the investigation has been completed by the OM / JIT. Further research will be carried out
that may be important for the answer to, among other things, the question of evidence; on whether it can be proven that
MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile by the separatists, as stated in the indictment.
In the coming months, we will focus on the research requests that have yet to be stated regarding the main scenario and
well submit them to the court timely. Furthermore, after the research that has already been assigned, we will consider
whether the results lead to sufficient clarity or, on the contrary, to further questions on these subjects. We will do our utmost
not to waste any time.

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