MH17 investigation holds Russia responsible

  • 29/09/2016
(Reuters)
(Reuters)

An international investigation has concluded a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Families of the victims of the MH17 air disaster have heard evidence from investigators that a missile was moved from Russia into eastern Ukraine before it was fired, bringing down the plane.

The missile was fired from a field in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

MH17 investigation holds Russia responsible

All 298 people on board MH17, including a New Zealander, died when the plane was struck two years ago.

Wilbert Paulissen, who led the investigation, says they know the identities of those involved.

At Nieuwegein in the Netherlands on Wednesday, the investigators briefed families on their findings, including playing them tapped phone calls of those involved in launching the missile in July 2014.

Dennis Shouten, from the Netherlands, said they were told the missile was fired from a farmer's field after being moved from the Russian Federation into eastern Ukraine.

"The Russian federation is part of this crime," he said.

But no names of perpetrators had come out, Mr Shouten said.

Russia has flatly dismissed the report. In a strongly-worded statement, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Dutch-led investigation's findings were biased and politically motivated.

"To arbitrarily designate a guilty party and dream up the desired results has become the norm for our Western colleagues," said Ms Zakharova.

"The investigation to this day continues to ignore incontestable evidence from the Russian side despite the fact that Russia is practically the only one sending reliable information to them."

MH17 investigation holds Russia responsible

Wreckage of MH17 (Reuters)

Russia has long denied any involvement in the episode.

Ms Zakharova complained that the Russian government had been prevented from playing a full role in investigators' work and alleged that the Ukrainian government had been able to influence the inquiry using fabricated evidence.

She also said she hoped new radar data presented by the Russian military would prompt the prosecutors to revise their findings.

In the UN, Russia has vetoed attempts to prosecute those involved at a war crimes tribunal.

Reuters/ AAP / Newshub.