Over €36m spent on MH17 investigation so far

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No image availableNL Times

The Minister of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem (PvdA), revealed today during his address to the Senate that the investigation into the disappearance of MH17, conducted by JIT (Joined Investigation Team), has cost the government a total of thirty-six million euros to date. 

Tragic news concerning the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 broke on the 17th of July this year. The Boeing 777 destined for Kuala Lumpur International Airport lost contact approximated 50 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Russian border, resulting in a total of 298 fatalities, of which 196 passengers were Dutch.

While the investigation has primarily focused on the theory that a Russian BUK missile fired by Ukrainian separatists took out the passenger jet. Russia's Defense Ministry has since released military monitoring data they claim shows a Ukrainian military jet was tracking the aircraft shortly before the crash.

“Based on the information available, a shooting-down by a ground-to-air missile is the most likely scenario, but we aren’t closing our eyes to the possibility that it could have happened differently,” Fred Westerbeke told German newspaper Der Spiegel last month. Investigators have only just started to salvage pieces of the wreckage after a deal was reached with the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists.

Dutch Ministry of Defense is reported to have stated that the identification of bodies and notifying the families of the deceased comprised over €15m of the total expenditure thus far. Dijsselbloem has said that a segment of this bill can be settled out of the existing budget.

Dijsselbloem went on to announce in his address to the Senate that a total of €643m in tax is payable in 2014, and that it will be in the best interest of the country to settle the bill before the end of this year.