Bellingcat, the independent community of volunteers and investigators, narrowed the suspects’ list of those involved in the MH17 tragedy down to 20 persons, Radio Liberty reports.
In his interview to Dutch TV company NOS, Elliot Higgins, the founder of the community, said the suspects are Russian servicemen who possess important information about the catastrophe.
According to Higgins, among them there are commander of the 53rd Air Defense Brigade from Kursk, Russia, commander of the 2nd battalion of the brigade, 9 lieutenants – the crew commanders of Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and several more “quite experienced” soldiers from these crews.
Two weeks ago, Higgins passed the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office a report containing names and photos of Russian military men who, according to the Bellingcat, could be involved in the MH17 disaster.
The Dutch side stated that the data will be examined by investigating officers, and after that it can be added to materials of the respective criminal case.
The international investigation group consists of experts from the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and Australia.
In October 2015, the Dutch Safety Board released the final results of its technical investigation which determined the following: Boeing 777 of Malaysian Airlines (flight MH17) that was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed over Donbas on July 17, 2014 by a missile fired from anti-aircraft defense system Buk. All those aboard, 298 people, including the crew, were killed. The investigation concluded that the missile was fired from the Russian-made weapon. However, the actual perpetrator has not been identified yet.
After the investigation results were published, Head of the Dutch Safety Board Tjibbe Joustra said that the missile that downed the plane was fired from the rebel-held area of Donbas.
In October 2015, the Bellingcat also released their own report on the MH7 downing. The document said the aircraft was shot down with the use of Buk, the anti-aircraft defense system supplied to militants by Russia, and that the missile was fired from the outskirts of the militant-occupied Snizhne, Donetsk region. The Bellingcat also determined that the Buk previously belonged to the 53rd Air Defense Brigade of Russia’s Armed Forces.
Ukraine and the Western countries claimed they have evidence of Russian militants downing the civilian aircraft with the use of Buk, perhaps with the aid from the Kremlin. Both Russia and the mercenaries deny their involvement in the crime.