MH17 shot down by Buk missile brought in from Russian Federation

Posted September 29, 2016

A separate investigation by Dutch safety officials previous year concluded that the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight was downed by a Buk missile fired from territory in Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels.

Nonetheless, the Dutch-led investigation, which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Ukraine, and Malaysia, has given the strongest indication yet that Russian Federation is directly tied to the downing of the plane in a conflict where Moscow provided materiel and men to back separatists against the Ukrainian government.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound flight MH17 from Amsterdam was shot down in the troubled Ukrainian state of Donetsk on July 17, 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

There were 100 people of interest identified by the investigation, one of the prosecutors at the news conference said.

Russia's defence ministry on Monday released what it claimed were new radar images showing that there was no missile fired from rebel-held territory on that day, which contradicted some of its earlier declarations.

A source in the prosecutor's office told the BBC that they would pinpoint the launch site and identify the weapon. The criminal investigation is aimed at identifying the suspects and is conducted by the worldwide investigation team, the so-called JIT. Zakharova said she hoped new radar data presented by the Russian military would prompt the prosecutors to revise their findings.

Audio intercepts, witness statements, and forensic evidence presented by the investigators suggest the missile, a Buk SA-11, arrived from Russian Federation after separatists requested additional support against Ukrainian airstrikes.

The Joint Investigation Team, or JIT, made up of Dutch, Australian, Belgium, Malaysian and Ukrainian investigators, said that there were almost a hundred "persons of interest" in the investigation but the list had not been narrowed down to formal suspects. "If there was a rocket, it could only have been fired from elsewhere", he added.

The Russian maker of the Buk missile system also contested the conclusions of the investigation.

In a statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that in fact the plane was not hit by a rocket. "The data are clear-cut".

Investigators said they spoke to a separatist who confirmed a portion of the system's return to the Russian border.