Netherlands, Australia lay official blame on Russia for MH17 downing

On 25 May, the Netherlands and Australia announced that they hold Russia responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, after on 24 May the joint international investigators team probing the crime announced that the plane was struck on 17 July 2014 by a BUK fired from an installation assigned to Russia's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade.

Wilbert Paulissen, of Dutch national police, stated that all transportation equipment used to bring the missile from Russia to Ukraine belonged to the Russian Armed Forces. The Chief Prosecutor of the Dutch Prosecutor's office Fred Westerbeke, stated that although the joint team's work is still ongoing, there was already enough evidence to support the above-stated conclusions. Westerbeke made clear that the prosecutors were not yet ready to indict individuals responsible for the war crime, and that the team was still investigating whether personnel from Russia's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade actually shot down the plane. The Duch and Australian governments issued a joint communique calling on Russia to „accept its responsibility and cooperate fully with the process to establish the truth and achieve justice for the victims of flight MH17”. Although Russia rejects any culpability for the crime, insisting that it was committed by the Ukrainian military, it nevertheless vetoed, on 29 July 2015, a UN Security Council resolution aiming to set up an international tribunal to try those responsible.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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