The MH-17 travesty continues. The initial story of this infringement upon reporters rights is here at the blog of the two detained journalists Michel Speakers and Stephan Beck.
On Saturday, while arriving on Schiphol, we, Michel Spekkers and Stefan Beck were held by Dutch police and interrogated. During the interrogation, not only material of the MH17 was taken from us, also our laptops, telephones, SD-cards and camera’s. We lost all material shot in Donbass, including material recorded with anonymous sources. In this article we present an overview what happened, both before and after that day.
For Michel Spekkers’ account please visit:
Above: Shed where part of the MH17 material was discovered.
The Malaysian press has also picked up the story which is being almost entirely ignored in all western mainstream media.
AMSTERDAM: Dutch police have taken items from a journalist here, including possible human remains, which he found at the crash site of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, prosecutors said Sunday. Freelancer Michel Spekkers was met by police as he returned to Schiphol airport late Saturday after visiting the region and writing an article about his discovery at the site.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur killing all 298 on board, most of them Dutch citizens. A Dutch-led criminal investigation concluded in September that a BUK missile, transported from Russia, slammed into the plane after being fired from a field in a part of war-torn Ukraine then controlled by pro-Russian rebels. But it stopped short of saying who pulled the trigger.
Prosecutors said in a statement Sunday that Spekkers had “refused to hand over photographic and film material from the crash site” when he arrived at the airport near Amsterdam. The material including “various bags with metal parts and an object which may be human remains” would now “be examined as soon as possible.” Spekkers said in a Tweet late Saturday he had arranged to “voluntarily” hand over the items, but in the end there was “a total seizure” of his possessions including his camera, telephone and laptop.
He wrote in the daily Noordhollands Dagblat he decided to visit the crash site during a trip to Donetsk for a documentary about daily life there, after being told that debris was still strewn around the area. He described seeing things lying in the snow – including a piece of bone – saying he had videoed everything, labelled some of it and placed it into sealed ziplock bags.
More at link above…..
Dutch freelancer journalist revealed new details of the MH17 flight crash in Ukraine and published in his blog.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Dutch freelancer journalist Stefan Beck wrote Tuesday in his blog that he thought Amsterdam police’s demand to hand over the material that had been collected by Beck and other journalist Michel Spekkers at the site of the MH17 flight crash in Ukraine was a suggestion, not an order. Spekkers had his luggage confiscated last Saturday upon flying back to Amsterdam after filming the MH17 crash site. He reportedly carried bags full of metal parts and an object that could have been human remains.
“Authorities therefore contacted Michel Spekkers and asked him to hand it over in either the Dutch embassy in Moscow or at Schiphol Airport. During the contact the police made clear they needed the material for investigation. More so, they claimed that the handover would be voluntarily,” Beck wrote in his Russia’s Invisible Border blog – Malaysian Transport Minister Beck stressed that the two journalists had not tried to hide the material they had brought to the Netherlands from the authorities and that they were mostly worried about the safety of the Donbas residents they had interviewed.
More at link above…
Dutch Journalists Ordered to Shut their Mouths on MH17 Disaster
The police of the Netherlands detained two Dutch journalists Stephen Beck and Michel Spekkers in Amsterdam, upon their return from the Donbas. The police confiscated all the materials that the journalists collected in the south-east of Ukraine.
The journalists visited the Donbass to examine the crash site of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing that crashed over the region on July 17, 2014. According to the journalists, they found fragments of the liner on the crash site, even though all the fragments of the airplane were supposed to be collected long ago. The police of the Netherlands confiscated all the fragments of the aircraft that the journalists had with them, along with all the video materials from the Donbas, including interviews with eyewitnesses of the disaster.
Stefan Beck and Michel Spekkers spent eight days in the Donbas. They came to the southeast of Ukraine to conduct a series of interviews with local residents, who showed them the place, where Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines crashed. The journalists were amazed to find out that many pieces of the aircraft were still on the crash site.
“There are still a lot of materials to collect there, and it is not as dangerous there as representatives of the Dutch Public Prosecutor say. Apparently, we are dealing with serious negligence,” the journalists said. Even though Beck and Spekkers had informed the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs of their visit, they were arrested at Schiphol airport upon their arrival home, one of the journalists wrote on Facebook.
More at link above….
Michael Spekkers blog is here with his side of the story:
Visit to the MH17 crash site
Considering we had only a limited number of days, a visit to the place where the MH17 crashed two and a half years ago, was not on the short list of things I would do. The conversations I had with various people from the area let me decided to adjust the schedule and visit the crash site still for a day. Stefan Beck did not go with me that day. When I arrived in the area I found, to my surprise, recognisable fragments of the MH17 at various places. After a somewhat longer consideration I decided to take a selection of pieces with me. The majority of the pieces involved aluminum and plastic parts. I wanted to take these things with the purpose of research, to transfer them to the authorities and to make a strong point that there are still things to be found after 2.5 years. Among the parts I found fragments that reminded me strongly of bone remains. Earlier there where skeletal remains discovered, some were found not to be human but animal. I’m not a forensic investigator, but did not ruled out the skeletal remains could be human. I decided to take one part of the skeletal remains for further investigation in The Netherlands. The consideration for me: if it are human remains there, they do not belong there but need to get returned to The Netherlands.
The crash site of the MH17 is located about three hours to travel from Donetsk. An area with a few houses and a kind of simple first-necessities-of-life-shop. I decided to package a selection of items in separate bags. One of the bone parts I encased in a sealed tube. Later, upon returning in the hotel, all parts packed separately in ziplock bags. The part of the bone was packed during the entire trip in a locked hard packaging. I made film recordings and photos throughout the day. Of the stuff, the original spot and the things we encountered but not included. I have tried to document as much as possible all components.
The link below to Stefan Beck’s Facebook page provides updates into what is going on with the confiscated materials:
BREAKING: Judge has decided that confiscation material is justified. We do not agree on this. They want to erase part of the images and copy a part. Going to try to do a counter proposal to investigation team. Hopefully they will agree, if not, we are going to object. Our reaction in a tweet:counter proposal. No against deleting images, but agree to blur members Primo team. Veto on copying images crash-site More soon…
Additional post by Stefan:
Dutch judge has decided that part of the images shot in Donbass could be used by authorities. More so, part of the material shot should be deleted.
The Judge (Rechter-Commissaris) has decide that Michel Spekkers and Stefan Beck should be present at identifying which parts should be relevant to MH17-investigations but gives no guarantees that other material will not be copied. Also, images that were shot at Amsterdam airport showing Michel Spekkers being held, and that can prove our innocence should be deleted by order of the judge.
The Ordination of the judge contains a lot statements we hold untrue. For example, the judge motivates his decision, amongst others, by claiming the investigation team get the cooperation it has asked for. Claiming that the investigation is being conducted in very difficult circumstances. We would like to stress that the area where the MH17 came down is currently rather safe and that earlier statements made by the (Dutch Public Prosecuting Service) OM concerning the danger in the area are nonsense. Also the judges claims that the sources which Spekkers and Beck try to protect are ‘cab drivers and translators.’
In cooperation with our lawyer we have decided to suggest the following compromise:
1. We do not agree with deleting any images made by either of us.
2. We agree on blurring the identity of investigators of the PRIMO. (Investigation into MH17)
3. We agree on sharing the images of the MH17 on the condition that the veto on what ends up at the investigation lies with Michel Spekkers.
Background: Material was previously confiscated in Amsterdam Airport by authorities. After the intervention of the Dutch Journalist Union (NVJ), the authorities were denied use over the material, until a judge (Rechter-Commissaris) would judge otherwise. With today’s Ordination material will be accessible to authorities.
So far only 1 Dutch newsoutlet contacted me for response
Complaints about not appearing in Dutch media are best addressed to dometsic media.
Beck’s Tweets regarding the matter:
Only two Dutch MSM outlet covered the matter. Here is the link and a Google translated version of their article:
SCHIPHOL – At Schiphol, Dutch journalist Michel Speakers stuff handed over to the police items he had taken by his own admission from the crash site of MH17 in Ukraine.
ANP – 8-1-2017, 8:25 (Update 9-1-2017, 9:36)
On Twitter, there were reports that the National Coalition with a detective and a member of the National Forensic Investigation Team would confiscate the items, and that ‘audio interview recordings’ would be examined. Spekkers himself states in a Tweet that the material was seized, as well as cameras, phones and laptops.
Spekkers reported earlier that he found items on the MH-17 crash site, which may include human remains. He has everything in plastic bags which he took to the Netherlands. The F MH17 Family Foundation, which relatives have organized, responded that it was not very respectful.
On July 17, 2014 MH17 flight, was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, when a Buk missile shot it out of the sky over eastern Ukraine. All passengers, including 196 Dutch citizens, were killed.
[Update 11:15 pm] The prosecution has stated late in a press release that Speakers possibly used another journalist who would have tried to take material from Ukraine without handing it over to the military police at Schiphol. “The impression is created that not all the items would be given up voluntarily, particularly objects relevant to the investigation. The luggage of the two journalists was then seized and viewed locally. In addition, various bags were seized presumably which contained metal parts, as well as an object, which could possibly be a human bone”.
According to the fellow traveler of Spekkers, Stefan Beck, the police have seized all the audio and video which the two have in their possession.
2nd Dutch article from an english language source:
The Dutch police seized a number of MH17 related items, including possible human remains, from freelance reporter Michel Spekkers at Schiphol airport on Saturday night. The reporter was returning from a trip to the Ukraine, where he visited the MH17 crash site, news wire AFP reports.
In a statement on Sunday, the Public Prosecutor said that “various bags with metal parts and an object which my be human remains” will be examined as soon as possible. The Prosecutor also said that Spekkers “refused to hand over photographic and film material from the crash site”.
Spekkers responded on Twitter by saying that he arranged to voluntarily give up the items he found, but that his encounter with the police ended in a “total seizure” of his possessions.
The reporter was visiting Donetsk to make a documentary about daily life there, he wrote in Noordhollands Dagblad. He decided to visit the MH17 crash site after hearing stories about debris still strewn in the area. According to him, he found various things lying around, including a piece of bone. Seeing so much debris still at the crash site left him with “an uncomfortable feeling of helplessness”, he wrote.
Spekkers filmed everything he saw. He decided to bring back some items, hoping that they may bring :some answers to outstanding questions”.
For more info on what really happened to MH-17 – The MALAYSIAN FLIGHT MH17 CRASH ANALYSIS BY THE RUSSIAN UNION OF ENGINEERS can be found here in English:
More here on eyewitness reports the Dutch authorities neglected to report….