- ‘It Was to Blame Russia from the Beginning’: Malaysia PM Fires Back at MH17 Probe
Malaysia is “unhappy” about the findings of the Dutch-led inquiry into the MH17 crash, which pointed the finger at Russia even before the probe began, the country’s PM said, noting that there was more politics than fact-finding.
Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s prime minister, voiced his unease after the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) revealed the latest results of the investigation. The group was quick to implicate Moscow – and this is why, according to the PM, Malaysia isn’t convinced of the probe’s integrity.
We are very unhappy. From the very beginning, it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing.
“Even before they examined the case, they have already claimed it [the shooting down of MH17] was done by Russia,” the prime minister said as cited by the local media.
On Wednesday, the JIT flagged four individuals – three Russians and one Ukrainian – as key suspects in the tragedy. The investigators accuse them of playing a significant role in shooting down the MH17, by receiving a surface-to-air Buk missile, allegedly from Russia. Both Moscow and the international investigators agree that the Malaysian Boeing, with 298 people on board, was taken down by a Buk missile.
Moscow, however, insists the Buk belonged to the Ukrainian military, and was a type of missile not in service in the armed forces of Russia anymore. Malaysia, which has kept an eye on the investigation since its inception, wants “proof of guilt [that Russia did it].”
So far, “there is no proof, only hearsay,” Mahathir insisted.
The crash was also investigated by the Dutch Safety Board, which focused on the technical part of the tragedy. Notably, it criticized Ukraine for not closing the airspace during the 2014 armed conflict in the east which also contributed to the fatal incident. However, their final report contained many “inconsistencies” and “unsubstantiated claims,” Moscow has said.