MH17-witness by prisoner exchange to Russia?


A court in Ukraine has dropped Volodymyr Tsemakh free. He is regarded as an important witness in the case of the downed flight MH17. Now his statement is in question, because he should seem to be to Russia are transferred.

A court in Kiev has left on Thursday in a surprisingly Volodymyr Tsemakh free. The Ukrainians are considered as a key witness in the case of the 2014 over Eastern Ukraine, downed Malaysian Boeing flight MH17. He was supposed to testify in the proceedings, but now it is unclear, if it comes to that. There is evidence to suggest that Tsemakh, a former fighter of the Pro-Russian separatists, could be transferred in the framework of a prisoner exchange between Moscow and Kiev to Russia are intensifying.

The planned replacement of more than 30 people for each side, including some prominent prisoners, was moved to the end of August, obviously, in the short term. The exact backgrounds are unknown. There was speculation, according to which this Tsemakh could have. Other people should be exchanged, have been released in the Ukraine before the arrest, about the Journalist Kiril Wyschynskij. The negotiations on the exchange had, in a degree, said on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a forum. Concrete names he did not reveal. Some observers find the timing of Putin’s Speech was striking – immediately after Tsemakhs release. A confirmation of Tsemakhs upcoming Release, there is not. It is only known that the separatists have placed him in the summer on an exchange list.

Flight MH17 was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Eastern Ukraine

What is Volodymyr Tsemakh known?

The 58-year-old Tsemakh was 2014 for the separatists in his home town of Snizhne in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk for the air defence is responsible. At the launch site, the rocket will be launched from the type “Buk”, with the flight MH17, on 17. July 2014 was shot down. All 298 people aboard the plane were killed. The international investigation team (JIT) thinks that the air defense system “Buk” was shortly before that of Russia in the Ukraine. Moscow denies any involvement in the Downing of flight MH17.

Publicly, the Name of Tsemakh was only in July 2019, known as Ukrainian special units for him in a night-and-fog action out of Snizhne, deep in the interior of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk people’s Republic”, in fact, and brought to Kiev had kidnapped. There are unconfirmed reports that Tsemakh and in a wheelchair over the dividing line in the Kiev-controlled area was stunned. From various sources it is, Tsemakh had been in the last few years in the military, the separatists actively and worked as a sports teacher. The allegations against him remain, despite the release, there are.

In Kiev Tsemakh suspected of terrorist activities, and was sitting in detention. Him to imprisonment of between eight and 15 years threatens. Knowledge about dealing with the Soviet Buk System he has In his profile in Russian social network “Odnoklassniki” (dt.: Classmates) is the name of it, he had been trained in Soviet times, the military air defence school in Poltava.

Tsemakh self-deny, to be in the shooting down of the Boing been involved with. He was at that time outside the town of Snizhne, he said in the courtroom in Kiev at the end of July. However, there are excerpts from a video interview in which Tsemakh about the Details of the shoot speaks. Some media interpret his statements as it would have been Tsemakh, who had hidden the missile system. The bowl of the word “Buk” is made in the recording unrecognizable. The original recording was deleted. The head of the Ukrainian security and defence Council said, according to media reports, Tsemakh have valuable information about Russia’s role in the case of MH17.

Symbols of the so-called “Donetsk people’s Republic”

Dutch investigators want to question Tsemakh

While Kiev and Moscow, and wrapped in Silence, want to consult the Dutch investigators Tsemakh like. A spokesman said on DW request, Tsemakh was a “Person of interest” and you would like to ask him questions. “If he should be replaced, it is doubtful that we could speak with him,” said the spokesman. Previously, it was from the Ukrainian judicial sources, Tsemakh should statements to Dutch investigators by video link.

The Dutch EU members of Parliament Kati Piri said to the DW, the release of Tsemakh was “worrying”. Piri published on Wednesday together with about 40 other EU-parliamentarians sent a letter to the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Selenskyj, in the Tsemakh as a “key suspect” in the case of MH17 is referred to. His “availability, and a statement” against the international team of investigators was “of the utmost importance for an effective prosecution on the part of involved countries”. The process in the case of MH17 is scheduled to begin in March 2020 in the Netherlands. Accused three Russian citizens and a Ukrainian, but not Tsemakh.