The Dutch government has returned a fugitive Russian couple who provided Dutch justice with classified information about the circumstances of the attack on Flight MH17 to Russia. De Volkskrant reported this after its own investigation. Intelligence experts fear for their safety.
The spouses’ wife mistakenly received detailed information in July 2014 about the person involved in the downing of MH17 in eastern Ukraine. The following year, she and her boyfriend were seriously threatened and abused by Russia’s FSB security service, according to their asylum file, which is in de Volkskrant’s possession.
The couple fled to the Netherlands at the beginning of 2016 and the woman told the public prosecutor what she learned after her asylum application was rejected. In the end, the woman was told she would not be considered an official witness, because the consequences – changing her full identity – and risks would be disproportionate to the proceeds of the criminal investigation.
The Dutch Immigration and Nationality Service (IND) rejected the appeal against their asylum claim, calling the story of their trip “unbelievable” and finding it implausible that the FSB was going after them.
Flight MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014, killing 298 people on board, most of them Dutch. Six victims were Belgians or dual Dutch-Belgian nationals.
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