On 17 July 2014 MH 17, a Malaysian airlines flight en route from Amsterdam in The Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was shot down while in transit over Ukrainian airspace.
Although there were no admissions as to culpability and at least initially very little factual data available, it did not stop an immediate blame game being promoted by the Dutch, Ukrainian and Australian governments. The Netherlands (189 citizens on board) and Australia (27 citizens plus some non-citizen residents), were together with the Malaysians (44 citizens) the countries to suffer the greatest losses.
An inquiry group was immediately set up. This was the first clue that the investigation was not destined simply to establish what had happened, but had wider geo political motives. The inquiry group consisted of the Netherlands, Australia, Ukraine and Belgium. The last named country lost only one citizen. In the absence of any plausible reason for including that country, the fact that it serves as NATO headquarters in what was turning out to be a major anti-Russian exercise is the probable reason for their inclusion.
The inclusion of Ukraine was even less understandable. As the country over which the disaster occurred it was an obvious candidate for the suspect list of being responsible for what was manifestly not an accident but a deliberate destruction of a civilian airliner, and hence the murder of all those on board.
That this was not going to be an honest and objective inquiry into the shooting down of MH 17 was reinforced by the fact that the four original nations signed a secret non-disclosure agreement, the key component of which for present purposes was that there would be no public announcements unless all four nations unanimously agreed. This must be the first time in recorded history where a potential prime suspect is given a veto over the investigation.
The other factor that raised suspicion among independent analysts was that the existence of this agreement was not widely publicised. To this author’s knowledge, it has never been publicised in the Australian mainstream media.
The Malaysians, whose plane it was, refused to sign that agreement. They were initially excluded from the official inquiry, although as we now know, they instigated their own investigation.