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Iran Press TV

Russia censures MH17 probe's findings as groundless

Iran Press TV

Wed Jun 19, 2019 04:55PM

Russia's Foreign Ministry has decried as "groundless" the accusations made by an international team investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Earlier on Wednesday, international investigators charged three Russians and a Ukrainian with murder over the 2014 downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

"Once again, absolutely groundless accusations are being made against the Russian side, aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation in the eyes of the international community," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

The flight MH17 on a Boeing 777 was blown out of the sky over conflict-hit eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The incident claimed the lives of all 298 people on board. Two thirds of the victims were Dutch.

Moscow has time and again denied any involvement in the disaster, putting the blame instead on Kiev.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said the trial will kick off in the Netherlands next March.

Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko were the "four who will be held accountable for bringing the deadly weapon, the BUK Telar, into eastern Ukraine."

"We won't demand their extradition because Russian and Ukrainian law forbids the extradition of their nationals," he added.

The investigation team said in May last year that the BUK anti-aircraft missile had purportedly originated from the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. Moscow strongly rejected the claims.

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