logo

29 September 2016

MH17 missile ‘came from Russia’, Dutch-led investigators say

rusiaInternational prosecutors investigating the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 say the missile that hit the plane was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.

They said the missile launcher was brought into Ukraine from Russia and later returned there.

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in midair flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Prosecutors said they were not accusing Russia of involvement.

They said there were 100 people “linked to the crash or the transport of the Buk” missile, but they are yet to determine who could be held criminally responsible.

There is a need to establish who gave the order to move the missile launcher into eastern Ukraine, and where the order for it to be fired came from, investigators said.

Russia has disputed claims that the missile was fired by rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consists of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine.

They have narrowed the missile launch site down to a specific field near the village of Pervomaiskyi.

“Based on the criminal investigation, we have concluded that flight MH17 was downed by a Buk missile of the series 9M83 that came from the territory of the Russian Federation,” chief Dutch police investigator Wilbert Paulissen said.

The missile launcher was later taken back to Russia, he said.

An inquiry by the Dutch Safety Board last year found that a Russian-made Buk missile hit the plane but did not say where it was fired from.

The JIT investigation’s findings are meant to prepare the ground for a criminal trial but suspects will not be named.

Many witnesses

Prosecutors played recordings from intercepted phone calls during their news conference.

They said witnesses reported seeing the missile launcher move from Russia into Ukraine and presented pictures and videos.

The launch site was pinpointed by “many witnesses”, prosecutors said.

Relatives were briefed before the JIT released their preliminary findings.

“They told us how the Buk was transported [and] how they came to that evidence from phone taps, photo, film material, video,” Robby Oehler, whose niece was killed in the crash, told the BBC.

Separatist rebels have denied they were involved.

“We never had such air defence systems, nor the people who could operate them,” Eduard Basurin, military deputy operational commander at the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic, told the Interfax news agency.

“Therefore we could not have shot down the Boeing [flight MH17].”

Earlier this week, Russia said it had radar data showing that the missile was not fired from rebel-held territory.

The JIT does not yet have access to that data, prosecutors said.

 

Source: BBC

Please follow and like us:

Etiketler:
Share
#

Write a comment

8+5 = ?