MH17 Crash Investigators Name 4 Suspects - Representative of Joint Investigation Team

  19 June 2019    Read: 862
MH17 Crash Investigators Name 4 Suspects - Representative of Joint Investigation Team

The investigators, who are probing the incident without Russia's participation, have assumed that the doomed plane was shot down by a BUK missile system from the territory controlled by the Donetsk People's Repubic. Moscow has vehemently denied any involvement, saying it could only recognise the findings if it is allowed to take part in the probe.

The Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) militia have refuted MH17 investigators' claims made earlier on Wednesday that the republic was involved in the crash, adding that they didn't possess anti-aircraft equipment in 2014 that could have resulted in the downing of the plane from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. 

This comes after investigators looking into the downing of flight MH17, which crashed not far from the city of Donetsk in 2014, have named 4 suspects, including three Russians (Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov) and one Ukrainian identified as Leonid Kharchenko. 

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), whose conclusions have been criticised by Russia in the past, will continue its probe into the crash even though it has decided to bring charges against four suspects, a JIT representative said on Wednesday.

"We are still gathering new data for investigation, because we will start prosecuting now, but the investigation will continue," the representative told a press conference.

The four suspects, meanwhile, will be placed on national and international wanted lists. They are set to face murder charges for allegedly delivering the Buk missile that hit MH17. 

The court hearings on the case will begin on March 9, 2020.

JIT representatives also noted that the MH17 crash international investigating team will send requests to Russian and Ukraine on the questioning of the suspects.

Russia has also repeatedly denied the accusations about its involvement in the tragedy, arguing that it had provided the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) with evidence proving that it was Ukraine's Buk systems that hit the Boeing. Moscow expressed its frustration that the information had been ignored by the investigators.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin has also pointed out that Russia was excluded from a probe of the crash in the east of Ukraine, and Moscow could only recognise the results if it was a full-fledged participant.

Late last month, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his indignation with the fact that the probe into the 2014 crash of the Malaysia Airlines-operated Boeing in Ukraine was not conducted in an unbiased way with Kuala Lumpur's participation. According to him, the investigation was rather focused on simply pinning the blame on Russia for political reasons.

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