Russian Missile Shot Down MH17: Investigators
Evidence in Dutch-led probe points to Buk missile brought into Ukraine from Russia
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2016 8:03 AM CDT
Wilbert Paulissen speaks on the preliminary results of the investigation into the shooting-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 during a press conference in Nieuwegein, Netherlands, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

(Newser) – Dutch-led criminal investigators said Wednesday that after a two-year probe, they have solid evidence a Malaysian jet was shot down by a Buk missile moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia, the AP reports. Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Dutch National Police's Central Crime Investigation department, said communications intercepts showed pro-Moscow rebels had called for deployment of the mobile surface-to-air weapon and reported its arrival in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. From that and other evidence culled by the Joint Investigation Team—including counterparts from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine—"it may be concluded MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 missile launched by a Buk, brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and that after launch was subsequently returned to the Russian Federation," Paulissen told a news conference.

A separate investigation by Dutch safety officials last year concluded the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight was downed by a Buk missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels, killing 298 people. A Dutch police rep says the new findings differ in that they're solid enough to be used as evidence in a criminal trial; where and when a trial might take place is still to be determined, he noted. Russia has consistently denied allegations that pro-Moscow rebels were responsible. On Monday, the Russian military said it has new radio-location data that show the missile that downed the Boeing 777 didn't originate from rebel-controlled territory. A Kremlin spokesman reiterated that on Wednesday ahead of the Dutch report. "If there was a rocket, it could only have been launched from a different area," he told reporters, referring to Russian radar data. "You can't argue with it, it can't be discussed."