DEN HAAG, June 15 -- Investigators will next week announce criminal proceedings against suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 five years ago, allegedly by pro-Russian separatists.
MH17 was shot out of the sky over territory held by separatists in eastern Ukraine as it flew from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board. There were 38 Australians, one New Zealander, 193 Dutch, 43 Malaysians and 12 Indonesians were aboard, as well as 10 British passengers. The other passengers were from Germany, Belgium, the Philippines and Canada.
Dutch prosecutors said yesterday a multinational investigation team would present its latest findings to media and families on June 19. A spokesman for the national Dutch prosecution service declined to specify what would be announced. Citing anonymous sources reported that the public prosecution service had decided to launch a case against several MH17 suspects. Also reported that criminal proceedings will be announced against individual suspects. No suspects were named in the reports.
The Joint Investigation Team, which seeks to try the suspects under Dutch law, has said the missile system came from the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, based in the western Russian city of Kursk.
Investigators had said their next step would be to identify individual culprits and to attempt to put them on trial.
Dutch officials have said Russia has refused to cooperate. Russia is not expected to surrender any potential suspects who may be on its territory and authorities have said individuals could be tried in absentia. The Joint Investigation Team was formed in 2014 by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine to investigate collaboratively. The Netherlands and Australia hold Russia legally responsible. Moscow denies all involvement and maintains that it does not support, financially or with equipment, pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukrainian government troops.
KUALA LUMPUR, MAY 31 -- The Malaysian government wants strong evidence to show that Russia is responsible for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy in 2014, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"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. "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) here on Thursday (May 30).
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia accepted the investigation report by Holland but only up the point where the plane was brought down by a missile made by Russia. He said while the government agreed that the plane was brought down by a Russian missile, it could not be ascertained that the missile was launched by Russia. The Russians were a military people and they would know that MH17 was a passenger plane, he added. "I don’t think very highly disciplined party is responsible for launching the missile,” he said. The Prime Minister said Malaysia should also have been involved in the examining the black box as the plane belonged 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 were 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 seemed to be concentrated on trying to pin it on the Russians. "This is not a neutral kind of examination,” said Dr Mahathir.
Had a neutral party examined and made the conclusion, Malaysia would be willing to accept the findings but here we have parties with political interests in the matter, he added. Flight MH17, which departed from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam on its way to Kuala Lumpur, was shot before crashing near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, about 40km from the Russian border on July 17, 2014. The incident killed 298 people, including 15 crew members. Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said the team was convinced that a BUK TELAR missile was used to down MH17, and that it originated from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade (53rd Brigade), which is a unit of the Russian Army in Kursk in the Russian Federation.
AMSTERDAM, November 24 -- Radio Livery reports, citing the Netherlands media, that relatives of the 55 victims who died in the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 in the Donbas airspace filed a suit against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights.
“Russia has not provided vital information to an international group of investigators. Furthermore, the facts provided by them ended up being incorrect,” the media writes citing the relatives’ lawyer.
In 2016 relatives of the victims from Australia, Malaysia, and New Zealand sued the Russian citizen and former “Minister of Defense” of the so-called DPR, Igor Strelkov (Girkin). They accused Strelkov of organizing the missile strike against a passenger aircraft. According to the claim, he either personally supervised or gave the order for this missile strike. The relatives of the victims claim that the head of the militant group participated in the conflict against Ukraine with the “Kremlin’s blessing.” The relatives of the victims are seeking $900 million in compensation from Girkin.
The Boeing 777 aircraft belonging to Malaysia Airlines, flight MH17 left Amsterdam, the Netherlands for Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and was shot down over the Donbas on July 17th, 2014. All 298 passengers died.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 over separatist-held territory of the Donetsk region. All 298 people on board were killed. Passengers of the flight included citizens of 10 countries. Most of the victims (196 people) were citizens of the Netherlands. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT)—which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine—has carried out criminal investigation of the tragedy. The countries participating in the investigation have agreed not to create a separate tribunal and decided that those responsible would be brought before the Dutch court.
On May 24, 2018, the JIT presented additional evidence of Russia’s crucial role in the tragic air disaster. The JIT concluded that the Buk ground-to-air missile system that shot down the passenger airplane was in service of the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk. On May 25, the Dutch government took steps to hold Russia accountable for the crash of flight MH17, a process which will be managed separately from prosecuting the perpetrators. Australia stated it will seek payment of compensation from Russia to the families of the MH17 crash victims.
The President of Ukraine instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately submit proposals on joining the Netherlands-Australia-initiated case against Russia at the interstate level in connection with this air disaster.
MOSCOW, December 5 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized the necessity to continue work to ensure a comprehensive investigation of the Malaysian Boeing’s crash at a meeting with his Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders on the sidelines of the OSCE foreign ministerial meeting in Basel.
“The sides discussed the state and prospects of further development of the Russian-Dutch bilateral cooperation, as well as the most urgent issues on the international agenda,” the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
“The ministers exchanged opinions on the course of international investigation of the circumstances of and reasons for the crash on July 17 of a Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the sky above Ukraine,” the ministry said. “Lavrov stressed the necessity to continue systemic work to ensure a comprehensive, thorough and independent investigation of the air crash in strict accordance with Resolution 2166 of the UN Security Council and rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” it said.
On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Most passengers — over 190 people — were Dutch nationals.
The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the probe and coordinating the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report published September 9 that “Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”
UN Security Council Resolution 2166 in particular says that the SC “condemns in the strongest terms the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine resulting in the tragic loss of 298 lives” and “supports efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.”
It also says the Council “demands that the armed groups in control of the crash site and the surrounding area refrain from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site” and “demands that all military activities, including by armed groups, be immediately ceased in the immediate area surrounding the crash site to allow for security and safety of the international investigation.”.
DONETSK, November 12 -- A team of accident investigators has arrived at the site of the MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine but will not be able to start recovery of the wreckage of the plane.
Broadcaster Nos reported earlier on Tuesday that the team of 10 to 15 investigators was on its way from Donetsk in order to begin clearing the wreckage, but is now reporting that there is disagreement between the Dutch and the Ukrainians. What is causing the disagreement is unclear, Nos says.
According to Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, head of the Dutch mission, there is no agreement between the investigators and the Ukrainians at the moment. ‘The Dutch team is ready to begin recovering the wreckage, but we shall now continue with the work we were doing last week,’ Aalbersberg told Nos. ‘We found human remains last week and we expect to find more during this search.’
Any human remains or personal possessions which are found will be returned as quickly as possible to the Netherlands. Flight MH17 came down over eastern Ukraine in July, killing all 298 people on board. Since then, Dutch recovery teams have been hampered in their work by fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian rebels.
AMSTERDAM, November 10 -- More than 1,600 relatives of people killed in the MH17 disaster gathered in Amsterdam on Monday afternoon for a memorial ceremony.
More than 1,600 relatives of people killed in the MH17 disaster gathered in Amsterdam on Monday afternoon for a memorial ceremony. The gathering, at the Rai exhibition centre, was also attended by king Willem-Alexander, queen Máxima, princess Beatrix, ministers and MPs.
Prime minister Mark Rutte started the proceedings and spoke about the questions that the relatives of those who died have been left with. ‘What if their holiday was due to start a day later? What if the plane had been delayed?’ the prime minister said. ‘Who has not asked themselves these questions since July 17?’
After the prime minister’s speech, children laid flowers in the centre of the hall. Then Marco Borsato sang Voor Altijd (for ever). Some of the relatives also said a few words. ‘We feel as if we have lost a limb,’ said Anton Kotte, who lost his son, daughter-in-law and grandson in the disaster. ‘Luckily, the memories will never disappear.’ Everyone on board the Malaysian Airways plane was killed when it was brought down, apparently either by pro-Russian rebels or Ukranian army, on July 17.
Most were Dutch but there was also a sizeable number of Australians and Malaysians. Outside the entrance to the Rai, flags from the 19 countries who lost people in the disaster were flown at half mast. The ceremony was simultaneously translated into the languages of other victims.
ROTTERDAM, October 25 -- The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice announced Friday that a total of 284 victims in the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine have been identified.
The progress came after experts identified anther six people last week, of which five were of Dutch nationality. The nationality of the sixth was not made known at the request of the embassies of the other countries concerned.
In the July 17 tragedy, the 298 passengers and crew members on board the Malaysia Airlines flight were all killed, which means fourteen victims remain unidentified more than three months after the incident.
The Netherlands leads the identification, which takes place in Hilversum. It is uncertain whether the remains of all victims are currently in Hilversum.
In early August the Netherlands stopped the recovery and repatriation mission on the crash site until further notice due to the deteriorating security conditions in the area.
The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice on Friday once again emphasized that it may take more time before every victim will be identified.
Related article: Ex-CIA Analyst: Ukraine, Malaysia, Netherlands conspiring to hide truth on MH17 crash
THE HAGUE, October 20 -- A Dutch relative of a victim of downed flight MH17 has travelled to the crash site in eastern Ukraine to search for the remains of his missing cousin, Dutch television reported on Sunday.
National public broadcaster NOS showed Robby Oehlers as he searched the burnt remains that still litter the site where the Malaysia Airlines flight crashed on July 17, killing all 298 on board.
Dutch forensic experts have so far identified 278 of the victims, but no trace has been found of Daisy Oehlers, 20, who was on her way to Bali with her friend Bryce Frederiksz, 23 when the Boeing 777 crashed.
German intelligence has accused pro-Moscow rebels of shooting down flight MH17 using missiles captured from Ukrainian government forces, media reported on Sunday.