It is probably the most frequently asked question in recent months to the 'face' of the Public Prosecution Service in the investigation into the downing of flight MH17.

Press conference 24 may - map with emblem 53e
Image from animation press conference 24 may 2018

”I said it on 24 May, when we gave the last update and again made a call for witnesses: in any case shorter than it has already taken. And the moment will come when we say: we are going to make a decision now whether to proceed with prosecution or not."

This is how the interview starts which Chief Public Prosecutor of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office Fred Westerbeke gave to Opportuun Magazine of the Public Prosecution Service in October 2018. In the interview, Westerbeke mainly discusses this year’s developments in the Joint Investigation Team's investigation into the crash of MH17.

Westerbeke offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the investigation team and gives an overview of other events this year that were picked up by the media. In addition to the press conference on 24 May, attention was also drawn to the procedure in which the Netherlands and Australia announced that they would hold Russia, as State, responsible for the crash, and the press conference in which the Russian Ministry of Defence announced that the rocket allegedly had been delivered to Ukraine.

Westerbeke emphasizes that finding witnesses - and thereby obtaining witness evidence - is particularly complicated in this investigation due to the war situation. He also expresses his appreciation for the investigation team that still is as motived as always.

At this moment, the investigation team cannot comment on the results of the press meeting that took place on 24 May.

NB: This article is published in Opportuun November 2018 – magazine of the Dutch National Public Prosecution Service. Attachment