IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports: Investigators from the Office of the National Prosecutor (OM) of the Netherlands have completed the first phase of their work in definitely determining the cause of the mid-aid explosion and crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Preliminary information leaked to the Dutch media has concluded that a Russian unit is responsible for the shootdown.
Most of the collected debris from the aircraft, a Boeing 777 that crashed on 17 July 2014 while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with the loss of all 298 on board, is now spread out in hangers at the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s Gilze-Rijen airbase where investigators have been probing the wreckage for evidence.
The OM is part of a Joint International Team (JIT) conducting a criminal investigation charged with initially identifying what brought the aircraft down and from where. A second phase of the investigation is to then identify those responsible and bring them before a court with the proper jurisdiction.
According to all of the evidence the JIT has reviewed, which has included more than one million documents, photos and videos, the conclusions to date are that the MH17 was downed by a Buk-M1-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM) launched from a Russian-owned battery that was most likely manned by a Russian crew. Photos and video evidence, as well as interviews with witnesses, prove that the battery was brought across the border from Russia into Ukraine shortly before the shootdown. [Continue reading…]