At the end of February 2017, the investigation team received an email from an unknown person who said that he had very important information. This person called himself Volf and indicated that he represented an organisation called Jus Gentium. Jus Gentium is latin and means “international law”. In his email Volf writes that the Dutch investigation is not objective, that the Dutch and the JIT partners aim at hiding the truth and that he has important information which would reveal “the truth”. “The people have the right to hear that truth”.
The information he claimed to possess concerned documents which would let the political systems in both the East and the West ‘explode’. Volf was willing to submit these documents to us provided that we would agree to certain financial conditions. If we would not agree, he would send all documents to all the relatives before 4 March 2017.
Volf also said that he was fully informed about Orion and Delfin and that there was no point in trying to trace him. To support his story, he included a number of documents. These concerned some images, audio files and a downloadable file. The latter was a ‘report’ of 97 pages in the Russian language. In this ‘report’, which contained 82 pictures, alternative scenarios were described.
All included information was investigated. The information relating to MH17 was already known to the investigation team. The other information appeared not to be relevant to the establishment of the truth. In addition, the majority of the pictures were known to the investigation team. These photos originated from Almaz Antay, among others, from publications concerning a Russian press conference and from Bellingcat. Some of the pictures were not known to us, but they did not provide any new insights into the facts already known. Investigation showed that Volf had used the mobile network of the Russian Federation for sending his messages.
On 3 March 2017, the investigation team sent an email to the relatives in order to inform them that there was a possibility that they would be approached. Fred Westerbeke, Chief Public Prosecutor: “The decision to inform the relatives was a difficult one. The JIT cannot be blackmailed, but we did not know whom we were dealing with and therefore it was not easy to assess whether the decision not to accept the financial condition would actually lead to the relatives being approached. We did not want to take any risks, but at the same time did not want to cause unrest.”
On 14 March last, the police made it known to the sender that the report did not contain any relevant information for the truth. In response Volf let them know that the investigation team had closed the file prematurely. He indicated that on the eve of the Dutch elections, he would send the relatives, the right wing parties in the Netherlands and a number of other countries documents which the investigation team allegedly did not have and would never get either.
Until this day the investigation team has no evidence that the relatives were actually approached and received any documents.