Media: Russia paid previously convicted Spaniard for fake posts about MH17 plane crash

The “Spanish air-traffic controller" massively quoted by the Russian media regarding the "Ukrainian fingerprint" in the crash of the MH17 flight has said that he had received $48,000 from Russia, as reported by a joint investigation published on Wednesday, March 14 by Radio Liberty and the RISE Project, which consists of a group of Romanian journalists.

According to the journalists, the author of the tweet about the aircraft failure and the “hero” of the RT (Russia Today) channel story is Jose Carlos Barrios Sanchez. Barrios Sanchez was previously convicted in Spain and had been arrested in Romania in relation with a fraud case.

According to Barrios Sanchez, he received large sums of money from Russia as compensation for publishing various entries under his Twitter handle, @spainbuca. The Spaniard admitted that he received money from RT long before the interview with the television channel, which was published in May 2014. He was named in the 2014 story as "air-traffic controller Carlos", who worked at the airport in Boryspil (Ukraine) and received threats for his anti-Ukrainian stance. At the same time, Barrios Sanchez did not provide proof of receipt for the money.

Sanchez also said that he had never been to the territory of Ukraine and has never worked as an air traffic controller, although he indicated two international airline companies as his places of work on his social media profiles.

The "Spanish air-traffic controller" who allegedly worked at the Kyiv Boryspil airport issued the following post under the pseudonym @spainbuca on Twitter: "The Military aircraft flew near the 777 three minutes before it disappeared from the radar; only three minutes." The account was later blocked. The press service of the Ukrainian state-owned company UkSATSE (Ukrainian State Air Traffic Service Enterprise) said that they do not employ any manager with such a name in Ukraine.

The Russian president said earlier as part of his conversations with American director Oliver Stone that the MH17 flight disaster in Ukraine was potentially observed by a dispatcher of "Spanish origin" who allegedly saw a combat aircraft nearby.

Malaysian aircraft MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014 after being shot down by an alleged surface-to-air missile. All 298 people on board were killed.

Since two-thirds of the victims were Dutch, an air crash investigation was commissioned by the Netherlands. The governments of Ukraine and the West believe that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, but Moscow believes that the responsibility for the airplane’s crash lies with Kyiv.

  MH17, Russia