MH17 investigators halt probe with out additional prosecutions

Published: February 08, 2023


International prosecutors mentioned on Wednesday that they had discovered “strong indications” that Vladimir Putin authorized the usage of a Russian missile system that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over jap Ukraine in 2014.

However, they mentioned proof of the Russian President’s and different Russian officers’ involvement was not concrete sufficient to result in a legal conviction, and that they’d finish their probe with out additional prosecutions.

Russia has denied any involvement with the downing of the civilian airliner, which killed 298 passengers and crew.

“The investigation has now reached its limit,” prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer informed a news convention in The Hague. “The findings are insufficient for the prosecution of new suspects.”

In November, a Dutch courtroom convicted two former Russian intelligence brokers and a Ukrainian separatist chief of homicide for serving to prepare the Russian BUK missile system that was used to shoot the airplane down whereas on its approach from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.

The three males, who have been tried in absentia, stay at giant.

At the time the airplane was shot down, Ukrainian forces have been preventing Russian-backed separatists in jap Ukraine’s Donetsk province.

While Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, it denied navy involvement in preventing in Donetsk at the moment.

But as a part of the conviction of the three males in November, the Dutch courtroom dominated that Russia had actually had “overall control” of separatist forces in Donetsk ranging from May 2014.

Prosecutors mentioned on Wednesday they might not determine the particular troopers chargeable for firing the missile system that downed the airplane, which got here from Russia’s 53rd brigade in Kursk.

They cited a 2014 cellphone intercept between Russian officers as proof that Putin’s approval had been obligatory earlier than a request for gear made by the separatists could possibly be granted.

In addition, they performed a 2017 dialog between Putin himself and the Russian-appointed chief administrator of Ukraine’s Luhansk province during which they mentioned the navy state of affairs and a prisoner alternate.

Piet Ploeg, who heads a basis representing victims, mentioned he was dissatisfied that the investigation had ended, however was glad prosecutors had laid out their proof for Putin’s involvement.

“We can’t do a lot with it, Putin can’t be prosecuted, he said. “We needed to know who was finally accountable and that is clear.”

Ploeg’s brother, his brother’s spouse, and his nephew died on MH17.

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