Russian Military Supplied Missile That Shot Down Malaysian Jet, Prosecutors Say
27 May, 2018, 01:32
The missile "originated" from Russia's 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade from the city of Kursk in western Russia, Paulissen said - a "part of the Russian armed forces".
Russia's Foreign Ministry said the findings had been based on fake data presented by bloggers and that Moscow's information regarding the case had been largely ignored.
Russia, which has repeatedly denied responsibility for the MH17 crash, on Thursday reiterated it was not involved in the incident.
He said investigators were not yet ready to identify individual suspects publicly or to issue indictments, but that when they do he expects cooperation, or a firm global political response.
6 of 7 The downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in 2014 killed all 298 passengers and crew on board.
A Boeing 777, MH17 was flying over Ukrainian airspace on July 17, 2014, when it crashed and killed all 298 aboard.
Ukrainian Army General Vasyl Hrytsak, a member of the investigation team, told Reuters the next crucial step would be to pinpoint who issued the orders to move the missile system.
Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014 and has supported pro-Russian separatists in an ongoing war in the country's contested eastern territories.
Since then, the Kremlin has clashed with Europe and the United States over issues such as Russia's support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the attempt to influence the 2016 USA presidential election and the nerve agent poisoning in March of a former Russian spy in Britain.
Westerbeke said the new conclusion raised new questions, "such as the question about how actively involved the brigade itself was in bringing down Flight MH17".
At a press conference on Thursday, Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said those responsible for downing the plane should appear in court "within five years".
Investigators will appeal to the public on Thursday to assist in their inquiries into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 almost four years ago over eastern Ukraine.
The Russian foreign ministry later said "it is clear that these gratuitous accusations are an attempt to discredit our nation in the eyes of the worldwide community".
Investigators also displayed parts of the engine casing and exhaust system of a Buk 9M38 series missile recovered from eastern Ukraine and showed photos of a unique serial number on the missile. "We are discussing these findings with our partners and considering our options", she said in a statement.
They have identified two people, who go by the aliases Orion and Delfin, as top suspects after obtaining their wire-tapped conversations before and after the plane was shot out of the sky. In all there were 17 nationalities on board including Australians, Britons, Malaysians and Indonesians.
Eventual suspects are likely to be tried in absentia in the Netherlands after Russian Federation used its veto to block a UN Security Council resolution seeking to create an worldwide tribunal to oversee criminal complaints stemming from the incident.
But the worldwide investigative team said their findings stood independently and that they possessed additional information to buttress their conclusions that they would unveil only in eventual courtroom proceedings.