Friday, 23 August, 2019

International Investigative Team Unveils Latest Findings on the MH17 Plane Crash

The wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 The wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Dimitar Dilkoff AFP
Deanna Wagner | 19 June, 2019, 14:58

An Interfax Ukraine report on Tuesday quoted Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Olena Zerkal in an interview as saying prosecutors would name the four "top" suspects.

The airliner travelling between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur was torn apart in mid-air on July 17, 2014 over territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.

The Netherlands have further said that Russian Federation has not cooperated with their investigation procedures, and do not expect them to hand over any of their charged. The investigation has already determined that the missile which brought down the Malaysia Airlines plane came from a launching system which originated at a Russian military base, but not about who launched the missile.

On Wednesday, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said the four men named were believed to be responsible for transporting the Buk missile used to shoot down flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers, including 80 children, were killed.

Moscow has vehemently denied all involvement.

The Netherlands has said Russian Federation was not expected to surrender any suspects, likely prompting a trial in absentia. Most of the victims were Dutch nationals.

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Investigative website Bellingcat said separately it will also name "individuals linked to the downing of MH17" on Wednesday.

The JIT said previous year that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade based in Kursk, but that they were still searching for suspects.

They said their next step would be to identify individual culprits and to attempt to put them on trial.

Kiev and its Western backers accuse Russian Federation of funnelling troops and arms to back the separatists.

Russia's Almaz-Antey concern, which produces the BUK, has held presented befuddling schematics and even blew up a missile next to an empty airliner in attempts to show the missile was sacked from Ukrainian-held territory.