Contrary to the Dutch government’s statements, human remains can still be found on the site of the flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, Dutch reporter Michel Spekkers told Friday.
“Yes, I think it is still possible. I have seen more remains there myself,” he said.
Dutch journalists Stefan Beck and Michel Spekkers spent eight days in Donbass at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 interviewing local residents who showed them the site of the fallout of the debris, human remains and luggage. Michel Spekkers found a bone looking like a human one at the site.
Upon arrival in Amsterdam, the two reporters were detained by the Dutch police who confiscated from them the materials gathered in Donbass and all the equipment including storage cards, cameras and cell phones. Testing showed that the bone indeed belonged to a victim of the tragedy.
The news prompted the families of victims to demand that the Dutch government send experts to Ukraine. However, Acting Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands, Stef Blok said on Thursday in a letter to the national parliament that images and other evidence gathered by Dutch journalists in Donbass do not give enough grounds to think any human remains could still be found at the site.
“The government is also saying that it is not clear where exactly the remains were found. But I even gave them footage of the place and raw GPS data of that day. What part could not be clear?” Spekkers said.
He said the Dutch government is unwilling to cooperate with the self-proclaimed Ukrainian republics of Donetsk and Lugansk because it supports the government in Kiev.
“For the same reason they have not been there more than a year. Beside that nobody wants to dirty their hands with this sensitive subject just before the (March 15 parliamentary) election,” the journalist said.
“They also say the area is to big, so it is impossible. Believe me, if this would have happen somewhere here in the Netherlands, there is no too big area to make sure all remains are brought back to the families,” he added.
The Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines that was performing a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the east of Ukraine’s Donetsk region amid a raging armed civil conflict there on July 17, 2014. It had 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers aboard. None of them survived.