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Premier Mark Rutte, fragments of the MH17

Dutch journalists detained over Donbass visit

Dutch journalists who recently visited Donbass in Ukraine, will be investigated by police

Published: January 12, 2017, 8:34 am

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    Dutch journalists who recently visited Donbass in Ukraine, will be investigated by police, Wim de Bruin, Press Officer of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in The Netherlands told TASS on Tuesday.

    Debris and fragments brought home by two reporters were confiscated. “These goods will be inspected by the police,” De Bruin said.

    The journalists confirmed that Dutch police confiscated their finds at the MH17 crash site. Stefan Beck and Michel Spekkers spent nine days in Donbass at the end of December and early in January, where they visited the site. But upon their return home on January 7, Dutch law enforcement agencies detained both at the airport.

    According to Spekkers he had found some debris from the crashed Boeing as well as a bone fragment.

    “I took one fragment of the bone with me to investigate here what kind of bone it is. But I don’t know for sure (if it was human remaining), I cannot confirm. What I do know is when they confiscated it, two forensic policemen were there and they decided to send it to the lab for more investigation,” the journalist said.

    Dutch police have also confiscated all materials gathered from the MH17 disaster, as well as cameras, cellphones and notebooks. The Public Prosecutor’s Office said it feared the journalists would refuse to voluntarily pass the materials to investigators.

    On July 17, 2014, Flight MH17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, en route from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. All the 283 passengers and 15 crew members, nationals from ten countries, died in the airplane disaster. Most passengers were Dutch nationals.

    Ukraine’s authorities have accused the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic for the tragedy. Dutch authorities have been investigating the crash, but premier Mark Rutte has been accused of covering up the investigation.

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    • Bente Petersen

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