Dutch govt wants Malaysia's explanations over claims about Russia's role in MH17 tragedy
The government of the Netherlands is seeking explanations from Malaysia after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad cast doubt over Russia's guilt in the MH17 flight crash earlier this week, according to the Dutch news website NOS.
Mahathir agreed with the conclusions made by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) but said doubted that it was Russia that fired the missile which downed the plane. He wanted to see evidence first, Mahathir said. The website quoted him as saying that he did not think such a disciplined side as Russia was responsible for the launching the missile, and irrefutable evidence was needed before blaming it.
During a meeting at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan Mahathir said he doubted that Russia was involved in the MH17 crash in Ukraine in 2014, due to lack of irrefutable evidence.
Russia does have the type of missile, which shot down the plane, but so does Ukraine, and firm evidence is needed of it having been launched by Russians, Mahathir said on Friday, according to the Malaysian news outlet The Star.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukraine's Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board were killed. On October 13, 2015, the Dutch Safety Board commission, which investigated the crash, concluded that the plane was down by a Buk surface-to-air missile.
In 2018 the Netherlands and Australia recognized the results of the JIT inquiry published in May, which claimed that the missile may have been smuggled from a Russian military base near Kursk.