PETALING JAYA: Malaysia says all those allegedly involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 must cooperate with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
“Malaysia remains committed to the JIT process. We are committed to ensuring that the process is transparent, credible and effective.
“Our approach is that conclusions must be based on evidence and not politically motivated.
“In this connection, we call on all parties to cooperate with the process so that the truth will be discovered,” Wisma Putra said in a statement issued yesterday.
On Wednesday, international investigators probing the downing of MH17 charged and issued arrest warrants against four persons over the shooting down of the plane on July 17, 2014, which killed all 298 persons onboard.
They are Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
The plane, which was shot down over Ukraine after departing Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur, was carrying, among others, 193 Dutch and 43 Malaysians.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued through its embassy in Malaysia, expressed regret in what it termed as “completely unfounded” accusations.
It claimed that the 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, data submitted to the investigation by Russia continues to be wilfully ignored. The JIT representatives accused Russia of withholding full cooperation.
The ministry said Russia had been very keen in finding the truth and was willing to help with the probe and that Moscow also actively cooperated with Netherlands and presented all information it had on the MH17 crash.
It said Russia would continue to assist with the probe so that the truth about the MH17 crash was established and the real culprits be duly punished.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed the murder charges brought against the four suspects, adding that he hoped that they would be hauled to court.
The Ukraine Embassy in Malaysia said the JIT’s findings were of key importance as it provided a definitive answer to the question of where the deadly weapon used to shoot the plane down came from and who had organised the operation.
It added that the main suspects named were active or former agents of the Russian special services, and a Ukrainian who assisted them.
The embassy said that the prosecution of suspects was “inextricably linked with Russia’s responsibility as a state for violating a number of conventions, thus making these crimes possible”.
The JIT, formed in 2014 by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, concluded that the plane was shot down by a Russian missile.