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|Olaf Koens - RTL Journalist|
The translated, full interview by RTL journalist Olaf Koens:
Can you explain what you experienced on July 17th?
"That day I could not predict anything special would happen. In the morning I woke up and went to my work. At four ó clock in the afternoon I arrived home. And at 16:20 we heard an explosion. The first explosion was not very heavy. 15 seconds later, something like that, there was a second explosion, which was louder and it made the windows shake."
What did you do when you heard the explosion?
"Explosions were not unusual anymore. But this was totally different, that explosion. It didn't sound like anything we heard before. I immediately looked around to see where the sound came from. What had exploded? Where? What? How? I ran to the covered balcony. I looked around and saw nothing.
I photographed the white trail in the air. At that moment I did not know what it meant. For me it was just a white trail: from the horizon up into the clouds where it diverged. Only after a while it became clear what it was."
How much time was there between the explosion and the photo?
"That was a minute after the explosions, I think. Maybe even less, something like 30 seconds."
You were there alone?
"I was the only one on the balcony. But the other inhabitants all were also on their balconies. Behind every window you could see a face."
There are more people who saw the trail at that moment?
There are more people who photographed the same thing?
"That is very well possible. But at that time, July 17th, there were already rumours in the city that taking photos was not really safe. It was being said: don't make photos if you don't want to end up in 'uncomfortable situations'. At that time the city was already occupied. At the administration building there was a flag and it was not a Ukrainian."
Do you still have the camera with which you took the photos?
"I contacted a friend of mine and gave him the photos, including the originals. That friend contacted the SBU [Ukraine's security services]and they were interested in the photos. He handed them over to the SBU. After that I had to explain the details of the photo to them and hand the camera over to them."
Did they compensate you for this?
"To replace it? Of course. They paid the value of the camera back to me."
Did you make private copies?
"Sure. But I had to give them the flash-cards too."
And after that you went to Kiev?
"Yes, in the beginning I directly spoke to with the SBU. After that representatives of the international investigation committee contacted me via the SBU. That was beginning of August, when I also handed them the camera. THe SBU didn't need it themselves and gave it to the Dutch researches. They had asked for the camera."
Did the researchers talk to you?
"Yes, I talked extensively with the researchers of the international committee. Those were two researchers: one from the Netherlands and one from Australia. We talked about three hours and it was recorded with a video camera."
Do you think they can use your material?
"Yes I think they will use it. The photos are circumstantial evidence. There are no other photos available that proof that this BUK launched something in that area. While everybody knows what the truth is, there is no other evidence."
Are you hopeful about that?
"I want justice. I want that the people who did this will be judged.
"I think the truth will prevail whatever happens."