MH17 charges: Russia slams investigation, says not a shred of concrete proof

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 20 Jun 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed regret for being the target of "completely unfounded" accusations on its alleged involvement by the team investigating the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight crash.

The ministry, in a statement issued through the Embassy of Russia in Malaysia, said the unfounded accusations were intended to discredit it in the eyes of the international community.

It added that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) did not produce a single shred of concrete evidence to back up its "groundless statements".

"The JIT continues to put forward not entirely reasonable arguments, some of which are based on dubious information sources.

"Meanwhile, the data submitted to the investigation by Russia continues to be wilfully ignored.

"Moreover, the JIT representatives accuse Russia of withholding full cooperation.

"We categorically deny such accusations," it said in a statement on Thursday (June 20).

It added that Russia had been very keen in finding the truth and has been willing to help with the investigations in every aspect from day one.

Russia also said it had actively cooperated with the Netherlands and presented all information it had on the MH17 crash.

It added that Russia's relevant agencies had also carried out "an enormous amount of unprecedented work" from declassifying information on Russian military equipment and conducting a meticulous experiment in collaboration with weapons maker Almaz-Antei, to providing primary radar data and documents showing that the missile that downed the Malaysian plane belonged to Ukraine.

It also released precision expert analysis proving that the video clips supporting the JIT's conclusions were fabricated.

"Moreover, Russia had suggested working together from the outset.

"Instead, international investigators excluded Russia from full participation in the JIT, reducing Russian efforts to a secondary role," it said.

Russia also said the JIT made Ukraine a full participant in the investigation, and allegedly gave it an "opportunity to falsify evidence and completely evade responsibility" for failing to close its air space.

"Under the circumstances, we continue to raise justified questions about the quality of the JIT's performance.

"All this confirms the apprehensions we voiced earlier regarding the biased, one-sided nature of the inquiry.

"Nevertheless, the Russian Federation will continue assisting the investigation so that the truth about the MH17 crash is established and the real culprits are duly punished," it said.

On Wednesday (June 19), international investigators charged four people with murder over the shooting of MH17 which killed 298 people.

They are Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.

On July 17, 2014, flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine after departing Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur.

According to official information, the plane was carrying 193 Dutch, 43 Malaysian, 38 Australian, 12 Indonesian and 10 British passengers, as well as one from New Zealand.

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