Conflicts & War

Dutch court says Putin supplied missile in MH17 downing but suspends probe

The Hague, Feb 8 (EFE).- A Dutch court said Wednesday that there were “strong indications” that Russian president Vladimir Putin had supplied the missile system used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane over eastern Ukraine in 2014, but that it was suspending the investigation as their findings did not provide enough grounds for prosecution.

All 298 people on board the flight were killed when it was hit by a Russian Buk surface-to-air fired from rebel-held territory as it flew over eastern Ukraine on July 27, 2014 en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

While “the investigation produced strong indications that a decision on providing” the missiles to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic “was taken at presidential level, (…) the high bar of complete and conclusive evidence is not reached,” a report by a Joint Investigation Team said.

The report added that Putin, as a sitting head of state, is immune from prosecution under international law.

The JIT – which is made up of investigators from Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine – did not find any suggestion that Putin himself had ordered the plane to be shot down.

The case is also being shelved because the JIT was unable to trace any of the accused, who are believed to be in Russia, while Moscow has refused to cooperate with the investigation.

The JIT insisted that the investigation could be resumed if “new information” or “altered circumstances” arise.

In November, a Dutch court sentenced three men – two Russians and one Ukrainian – in absentia to life in prison after they were found guilty of the murder of the nearly 300 people on board the plane. EFE


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