The new findings of a criminal inquiry show that the Malaysian Airlines MH17 was ripped in midair by a BUK 9M38 surface-to-air missile fired from Ukraine—the missile launcher was transported there from Russia.
The inquiry details also revealed that not less than 100 persons were being probed for their involvement in the tragedy.
Though the Dutch probe’s findings stopped short of insinuating Russia, new details that have emerged now suggest pro-Russia rebels had fired a missile into the MH17, killing all 298 passengers, including 196 Dutch, on board.
Denying any role in the tragedy, Moscow, however, said the inquiry results were “biased” and “politically motivated”. It added the plane must have been brought down by Ukraine’s military rather than the pro-Russia separatists.
The sleuths also traced the route used to bring the BUK missile system into eastern Ukraine by using thousands of photos, videos, 200 witness statements and tapping 150,000 telephone conversations.
Though the probe is headed by the Dutch prosecution service, it also includes teams from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. But despite two official probes, the question remains—who gave the order and who pulled the trigger?
The new findings also confirm an earlier probe by Dutch Safety Board that said the airliner was blown by a 700-kg Russian-made Buk, a radar-guided anti-aircraft weapon fired from Pervomaiskyi, said Wilbert Paulissen, head, Dutch police probe.
While this was so, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said he will pressurise Russia to support UNSC’s efforts to prosecute those accountable for bringing down a Malaysian airliner that crashed over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
“Every single one of the victims, every single one of them, demands justice and we will ensure that justice is done,” thundered Turnbull.
Welcoming the inquiry findings, the US blamed the Russian-backed separatists for shooting down the MH17. There is no doubt the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile fired from eastern Ukraine.