Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Malaysian government wants strong evidence to show that Russia is responsible for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, in 2014.
"I don't think very highly disciplined party is responsible for launching the missile," he said, the MalayMail news portal reported on May 30.
He said Malaysia accepted the investigation report of Holland but only up to the point where the plane was brought down by a missile made by Russia.
According to him, his government cannot be certain that the missile was launched by Russia.
"They are accusing Russia but where is the evidence? We know the missile that brought down the plane is a Russian type missile, but it could also be made in Ukraine," he said.
"You need strong evidence to show it was fired by the Russians, it could be by the rebels in Ukraine, it could be Ukrainian government because they too have the same missile," he said during a dialogue and media conference with the Japanese Foreign Correspondent Club (FCCJ).
Mahathir said people of Russia are military people and they would know that MH17 is a passenger plane.
The prime minister said Malaysia should also be involved in the examining the black box as the plane belongs to Malaysia and there were Malaysians passengers.
"We may not have the expertise but we can buy the expertise. For some reasons, Malaysia was not allowed to check the black box to see what happened. We don't know why we are excluded from the examination but from the very beginning, we see too much politics in it and the idea was not to find out how this happened but seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it to the Russians. This is not a neutral kind of examination," Mahathir said.
UNIAN memo. Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over militant-occupied territory in Donetsk region. All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands. The Dutch Safety Board October 13, 2015, issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system. The Joint Investigation Team in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia. No suspects have been named, though Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said his office had identified 100 "persons of interest" in the investigation, including those who organized the arrival of the rocket and oversaw its transportation from Russia to Ukraine and back.