SpiegelOnline headlined the interview:
Chief MH17 Investigator on German Claims: 'We Will Need Evidence'
Interview by Rainer Leurs
Reuters headline was more to the point:
When asked about Russia's claim that the plane may have been shot down by a jet fighter, Westerbeke said:
"Going by the intelligence available, it is my opinion that a shooting down by a surface to air missile remains the most likely scenario. But we are not closing our eyes to the possibility that things might have happened differently." Fred Westerbeke, SpiegelOnline, Oct 27- Advertisement -
Shortly after the tragedy, the Obama administration was adamant in its claim that pro Russian militia members (Southeastern Ukraine resistance) fired a missile that brought down the airliner causing 298 deaths. European Union allies echoed the claim. This was the main rationale for US-EU sanctions against Russia and the eruption of Western media attacks on Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
The possibility that a jet fighter shot down MH17 represents a major assertion on the part of the Dutch prosecutor. If true, a jet fighter shoot down would clear both the resistance forces and Russia of any complicity in the event. The resistance lacked an air force (e.g., jet fighters) and there is no evidence that Russian military aircraft were anywhere near MH17. The fact that this is still a question in the minds of the key EU investigators demonstrates the rashness of the Obama-Kerry assertions that the resistance and Russia were somehow responsible.
SpiegelOnline asked about the German intelligence claim that it had evidence indicating that a resistance missile crew fired the shot that brought down MH17. Westerbeke responded:
"Unfortunately we are not aware of the specific images in question. The problem is that there are many different satellite images. Some can be found on the Internet, whereas others originate from foreign intelligence services." Fred Westerbeke, SpiegelOnline, Oct 27
A number of conclusions can be inferred from this answer. The prosecutor has seen no "specific images" to support claims by the BND. Westerbeke indicates clearly that the BND has not provided the evidence to support the claim. Why not?
When asked about "high resolution" U.S. satellite images, presumably a part of the evidence the Obama administration used to accuse the resistance and Russia, the answer was even more obvious in its implications:
"We are not certain whether we already have everything or if there are more -- information that is possibly even more specific. In any case, what we do have is insufficient for drawing any conclusions. We remain in contact with the United States in order to receive satellite photos." . Fred Westerbeke, SpiegelOnline, Oct 27
The U.S. production of imagery is such that the prosecutor doesn't know if its been provided. Even if the "high resolution" images have been provided, they are"insufficient for drawing any conclusions."
The Dutch prosecutor didn't give this interview spontaneously and it takes a huge leap of faith to assert the answers offered are simply his opinion. Unless there is some retraction in the short term, this was a planned event to stake out what prosecutors have and do not have at this point.