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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
"Even if" the suspects intended to shoot a Ukrainian military plane instead of a passenger plane, they can still be charged by Dutch courts.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
The JIT will request Russia to order the arrest and questioning of the three Russian national suspects. (Good luck)
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
Westerbeke says that the JIT has asked Russia multiple times where Buk 332 was in July 2014 -- no answer. They asked if Dubinsky worked with the Russian military -- no answer.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
The court case will start at 10am, March 9, 2020. Westerbeke tells the four suspects to put it on their calendar (lol), and they will be tried in absentia if they are not present.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
More evidence will be shown in court in March. We'll have to sit tight until then.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
A new call for witnesses from the JIT, focusing on the Russian side (53rd Brigade) who were involved in the transfer/use of the Buk.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
Russia has said there is "no reason" for them to answer questions from the JIT regarding their military/intelligence being involved in the MH17 downing.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17
JIT is going to keep investigating and will eventually reveal more information about the "crew" of the Buk. JIT is now explicitly saying that soldiers from the Russian 53rd Brigade were in the crew coming with the Buk. As far as I know, this was only implied before.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
JIT airing a phone call previously published between Kharchenko and "Ryazan". The latter is Eduard Gilazov (RIP), as revealed in today's new report.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
The JIT went all through the 53rd Brigade's social media. A member of the 2nd Battalion (which traveled to the border in summer 2014) chatted up an "Anastasia" on VK.
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Aric Toler
OH MY GOD A 53rd Brigade soldier got catfished and revealed information about the Buk that downed MH17.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
JIT calls for more information from/about 53rd Brigade soldiers. They want to know which of these soldiers was with the Buk that downed MH17.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
JIT airs more calls between Girkin and Russian handlers. This is huge -- Girkin's call for artillery support was answered with significant Russian artillery strikes against Russia in June/July. And wants more anti-aircraft weaponry WITH TRAINED CREW (Russian soldiers).
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Askyonov is a Russian commander in Crimea.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Clip from interview with Borodai where he said he went to Moscow to meet with people for assistance. I'll check leaked travel records later to see when he went.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Woooow, they have Surkov on a recorded call. Anyone wanna ring him up?
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
JIT specifically wants to know which person decided to send this specific Buk to Ukraine, and who decided which Russian crew members went.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q&A time! First question: will the suspects actually go to court? Answer: Westerbeke says he's a realist and knows that they probably won't be there, but who knows?
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
(Aside: Through all of their previous press conferences, the has been very careful to hold back on direct Russian accusations to give them a chance to cooperate. Now, they're going all-out and aren't playing around anymore)
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Question 2: How can you prove Russia's involvement in court, how much can you point to with their support, and how to show it? Westerbeke: We'll show it in court, we've shown lots of evidence making the support clear already with the Buk TELAR information.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q3: How far does it go up in the Kremlin? Enough evidence already for court? Westerbeke: Today, just focusing on other things (4 suspects). But we have a lot of evidence that is strong already, still gathering more information (call for witnesses).
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q4: Can you find new suspects? Westerbeke: Can't answer now about adding more suspects to the court case.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q5: What did you mean by not naming people who could "disrupt the investigation". None of 4 suspects are active Russian military, and you named 53rd Brigade Captain. Are these connected? Westerbeke: We don't have enough evidence yet for charging "these people".
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q6: The last call for witnesses was for whistleblowers -- have any come forward, any witnesses? Answer: Yes, new witnesses came forward, can't talk about specific witnesses.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q7: (Presumably a Russian reporter) How did you disprove accusation that the rocket belonged to Ukraine? "It's well known from official documents..." (feed cuts out) "...what does the analysis look like in concrete terms?"
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
A: We received this info from Russia, along with radar data. Considered all of it, analyzed/studied it, but it doesn't stand up to all of the other analysis they did.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Follow-up question from Russian reporter: Who did this analysis, what is their expertise? A: Will show all of this information in court evidence.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q8: Does Malaysia support these conclusions and do they support the investigation? In his answer, Malaysian representative repeats JIT mission and reiterates that they support the JIT findings ("position did not change").
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q9: Regarding the 100 people of interest you originally investigated, how many are left for people who can be prosecuted? A: The four we announced, and about four people in the Buk crew who came from Russia. Also more people in the "responsibility chain".
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
(The four Buk crew member claim is new -- very important info)
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q10: So you are investigating the Kremlin? A: Yes, we want to understand the "chain of command" that led to the Buk being sent to Ukraine.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q11: How long will this process take? (Feed cuts out) A: It depends. Will take at least a year. Could be shorter, probably not. He thinks this is realistic, but the JIT knows way more information than they have shown in press conference.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q12: Will any lawyers be present for the suspects if they are tried in absentia? A: Depends on the court, will see what they decide.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q13: Who will be the public prosecutors? Westerbeke: Team of competent colleagues, won't name names, has people in mind who will be involved in the case.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Q14: Are you saying that the Russian government has deliberately thwarted investigation? Are you offering asylum to witnesses? A: Russia knows that the 53rd Brigade's Buk was used. Would not call Russia's actions "cooperation".
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Further answer: There is a witness protection program.
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Aric Toler Jun 19
Replying to @JITMH17 @bellingcat
Cross talk between Westerbeke and a Dutch journo in Dutch with no translation, no clue what they're saying. The end.
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