"New developments" in MH17 investigation
There are "new developments" in the investigation into the downing of flight MH17, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said on Friday in an email sent to the relatives of the people who were killed in the disaster, RTL Nieuws reports.
Exactly what these new developments are, is not yet clear. The JIT will first inform the relatives on Wednesday. After that an international press conference will be held at 1:00 p.m.
The JIT is comprised of the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia, Australia and Ukraine - the countries hit hardest by the MH17 disaster. The team's goal is to find out how the Boeing 777 was downed and who was responsible for it.
Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.
The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 - a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. Australia and the Netherlands officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster - providing the missile that shot down the plane - in May last year.
In September Russia held a press conference in which the country said that the BUK missile was indeed made in Russia, but was in Ukrainian hands at the time of the disaster. Russia has been pointing the finger to Ukraine since the disaster happened. In October the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is willing to discuss MH17 liability with the Netherlands, "partly with the goal of looking professionally at the responsibility of Ukraine". The first meetings happened in March.