Missile moved from Russia and hit MHI17, bringing it down

Author
Newstalk ZB staff ,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Sep 2016, 6:14AM
Bits of flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine (Getty Images).

Missile moved from Russia and hit MHI17, bringing it down

Author
Newstalk ZB staff ,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Sep 2016, 6:14AM

UPDATED 6.39am Families of those killed in the MH17 disaster have been told a missile moved from Russia to eastern Ukraine brought the plane down.

LISTEN ABOVE: The Telegraph's Moscow correspondent Roland Oliphant spoke to Rachel Smalley

Investigators in the Netherlands have briefed relatives of their findings, including playing taped phone calls of those involved in launching it.

CNN's Phil Black said: "Through examining social media posts, that's video pictures intercepted phone calls and witness accounts this investigation says it has accumulated a vast amount of evidence."

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Families have been told it's now known for sure the missile was fired from territory held by Russian-backed rebels.

It was fired from a farmer's field.

Russia's consistently rubbished allegations rebels fired the missile, suggesting instead the plane was brought down by the Ukrainian military.

The Telegraph's Moscow correspondent Roland Oliphant told Rachel Smalley Russia's response has not been surprising.

"They have said that they believe this investigation is biased, that it's politically motivated. The Ministry of Defence has reiterated its denial that Russian air defence units ever crossed the border."

Moscow has vetoed attempts in the UN to prosecute those involved at a war crimes tribunal.

Mr Oliphant said it's not clear how, or if, anyone will be prosecuted.

"Russia vetoed the creation of a special tribunal into this so we don't even know what kind of court evidence could be submitted to. We don't think Russia's going to give up the operators or the commanders of that weapon."

Aviation lawyer Jerry Skinner is behind a push for compensation that includes the widow of New Zealander Rob Ayley.

He told Rachel Smalley it's time for Russia to come to the table.

"What happened today was a factual confirmation of their participation. We are inviting them to sit down and talk with us."

He said the new findings have great weight, and back their case.

"And it will submitted to court as further support to our allegations.We're hopeful that either the Russians will choose to respond or if they don't that the court will move ahead with the case without them."

FACTS ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION INTO FLIGHT MH17:

  • 298 people were killed including 38 Australian residents
  • The missile has been identified as a Russian-made BUK 9M-38 series
  • Joint Investigation Team members: Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine.
  • More than 450 Australian Federal Police officers worked on the case over the last two years
  • More than 100 investigators from the participating countries continue to work on the case
  • 1448 pieces of wreckage are recorded in an investigation database
  • Around 150,000 intercepted phone calls were checked and over 3500 deemed to be of interest
  • Many millions of emails along with half a million photos and videos have been examined
  • More than 200 witnesses have been examined

Additional reporting by NZ Newswire