This Article is From Feb 09, 2023

"Strong Indications" Putin Approved Missile Supply That Downed MH17, Says Investigator

MH17 was shot down by a Russian missile launched from eastern Ukraine as it was on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam in 2014.

'Strong Indications' Putin Approved Missile Supply That Downed MH17, Says Investigator

All 298 people were killed in MH17 crash in 2014.

An investigator, part of the team probing how Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH14 was downed, has said there are "strong indications" that the transfer of missile used in the act was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a report in Al-Jazeera. Dutch prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer, however, said they did not have enough evidence to prosecute any more suspects for the 2014 tragedy and suspended their inquiry, the outlet added. As a head of state, Putin also has immunity.

All 298 people on board were killed when a Russian-made missile slammed into the Boeing 777 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, sending it crashing to earth in separatist-held eastern Ukraine.

Russia has denied any involvement and refused to cooperate with international investigation.

"There are strong indications that a decision was made at presidential level, by President Putin, to supply... the Buk TELAR missile system," Dutch prosecutor Ms van Boetzelaer was quoted as saying by the outlet on Wednesday.

"Although we speak of strong indications, the high bar of complete and conclusive evidence is not reached," she further said.

The announcement comes less than three months after a Dutch court convicted two Russians and a Ukrainian in absentia over the downing of MH17.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the decision was a "bitter disappointment" but that "we will continue to call the Russian Federation to account".

The victims of the disaster, which triggered international outrage and sanctions against Russia, came from 10 countries, including 196 Dutch, 43 Malaysians and 38 Australian residents.

Families of the victims said they were disappointed by the decision to halt the investigation.

"We had hoped for more - but we didn't count on it," said MH17 foundation chairman Piet Ploeg, who lost his brother, sister-in-law and nephew on MH17.

Investigators said they felt they had achieved more than they thought possible in 2014.