Joint Investigation Team on MH17 wants to see new Russian "proof"

20:41, 17 September 2018
Politics
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REUTERS

A joint investigation team (JIT) made of representatives of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and Belgium who are probing into the downing of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane over Donbas in 2014 (flight MH17) says it would like to obtain documents from the Russian Federation on new "evidence."

"The JIT has taken note of the information that has been publicly presented by the authorities of the Russian Federation for the first time today. Already in 2014 the JIT has requested the Russian Federation to provide all relevant information. In May 2018 the JIT specifically requested information concerning numbers found on several recovered missile parts," the JIT said in a statement posted by the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands on September 17 in reaction to a press conference of the Russian Ministry of Defense on the same day.

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The Russian Federation has left that question and several other questions addressed by the JIT to the Russian Federation unanswered. In August 2018 the Russian Federation notified the JIT in writing that no additional requests have to be made by the JIT in order to receive relevant information in possession of the Russian authorities.

The JIT says it will meticulously study the materials presented on September 17 as soon as the Russian Federation makes the relevant documents available to the JIT as requested in May 2018 and required by UNSC resolution 2166.

"From the start of the investigation until today, the JIT has always carefully analyzed and processed the information provided by the Russian Federation. In doing so, the JIT has found that information from the Russian Ministry of Defense previously presented to the public and provided to the JIT was factually inaccurate on several points. An example is the alleged presence of a fighter plane in the vicinity of MH17 on radar imagery presented to the public on a press conference in July 2014," it said.

The JIT's first results of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, were presented on September 28, 2016.

At the presentation in 2016, the main conclusion of the JIT was that on the basis of the criminal investigation results it could be established that Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 by a BUK missile from the 9M38 series, which was fired from an agricultural field in the area of Pervomaiskyi. At that time this area was controlled by Russian-led forces.

The presentation also demonstrated that the missile from the 9M38 series was fired by a BUK TELAR. This BUK TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and was returned to the Russian Federation after use.

In May 2018 the JIT presented new results. The JIT has come to the conclusion that the BUK TELAR that shot down flight MH17 comes from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile Brigade, or the 53rd Brigade from Kursk in the Russian Federation. That brigade is a unit of the Russian Federation's armed forces.

During this presentation the JIT showed a venturi and a casing that were found in Eastern Ukraine and asked for information about the numbers on these parts. The JIT also asked for more information about the unit the missile (of which the venture and the casing were part of) was supplied to.

During the presentation in May, the JIT also called for witnesses to come forward. This call has resulted in several serious and useful leads that are under investigation at the moment. The JIT emphasizes that the call for witnesses remains current.

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