As far as the MH17 investigation is concerned, Lehmann stated that he believed that "an international tribunal would be the wrong forum. [The shootdown of MH17] is a crime committed on Ukrainian territory, and it should be a Ukrainian court that holds this trial and sentences those who are responsible for it." The journalist did not specify when and under what circumstances such a trial would be possible.
Referring to the words of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who immediately responded to the crash "by blaming all of the parties who are involved in geopolitical games," Lehmann stated that "when governments are playing geopolitical chess games, none of the parties involved either directly or indirectly is forthcoming with independently trustable, verifiable evidence."
Explaining the Dutch Safety Board's role in keeping a lid on information surrounding the investigation, Lehmann stated that the body operates "under the Dutch Kingdom Act, and the Dutch Kingdom Act specifically states that even though there is an open government law in the Netherlands, the Dutch Safety Board's investigation is excluded from this open government act." According to the journalist, "this [effectively] means that all the parties –Russia, Australia, the UK, the USA have admitted themselves to Dutch law by becoming a party to the investigation, under the auspices of the Dutch Safety Board, and nobody is actually allowed to give any independently verifiable evidence to independent media, [and] that's a real problem."
The civil conflict in eastern Ukraine began in April 2014, when Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against Donbass self-defense forces which had rejected the outcome of the February's Maidan coup d'état.