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MH17 Ukraine disaster: Dutch to report on cause

13 October 2015 08:44
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MH17 Ukraine disaster: Dutch to report on cause

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - The Dutch Safety Board is to publish a final report on why Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 broke up over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 on board.

Preliminary findings say it was hit by "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft", fuelling speculation that a surface-to-air missile was responsible.

There were 193 Dutch nationals among the victims.

Four questions

The Dutch Safety Board is expected to present its findings first to the victims' families and relatives and then to reporters at the Gilze-Rijen military base.

The board will also show parts of the aircraft that have been brought back from the rebel-held Donetsk region and reconstructed.

The report will look at four key issues:

  • what caused the plane to disintegrate in mid-air
  • why it was flying over the conflict region
  • why did some relatives have to wait four days before receiving official confirmation that their loved ones were on board
  • to what extent were the passengers and crew aware of what was happening in the final moments.

However, the report will not directly address the issue of who was responsible for the disaster.

This is because the board does not have the authority to apportion blame under the rules governing international flight crash investigations.

A separate Dutch-led criminal investigation is still going on, and its findings are expected to be published in several months' time.

Prosecutors have suggested that the aircraft was most likely brought down by a Buk surface-to-air missile. In August, they said they were investigating fragments "possibly originating from a Buk".

In July, Russia vetoed a draft resolution at the UN Security Council to set up an international tribunal into the MH17 air disaster.

President Vladimir Putin said at the time the establishment of such a tribunal would be "premature" and "counter-productive".

Before the Dutch report is released on Tuesday, Russia's state arms producer Almaz-Antey - which makes Buk missiles - is expected to announce the results of its own investigation into the crash.

Senior Russian government officials have said the Dutch investigators have not been co-operating with Russian experts.

"A series of facts (about the shooting down) that were presented by Russia seem have not been taken into consideration - for reasons that we do not understand," Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said on Monday. For more information go to BBC.com.

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