Vladimir Putin probably authorized the supply of the missile that shot down the plane, according to the international investigation / France News

Vladimir Putin likely authorized the supply of the missile that shot down MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. However, prosecutors in charge of the case announced on Wednesday (February 8th) that there was insufficient evidence to justify new lawsuits. “There are strong indications,” according to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating the tragedy, that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin himself, had decided to send the missile to the Ukrainian separatists.

But “the investigation has now reached its limit, all leads have been exhausted, the investigation is therefore suspended”noted the Dutch prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer, during a press conference in The Hague. “The evidence is insufficient for further prosecution”, she added. The JIT includes representatives from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, the countries most affected by the crash.

The Malaysia Airlines plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit on July 17, 2014, over the part of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels. The explosion killed all 298 people on board.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Flight MH17: a global drama in the Ukrainian sky

Vladimir Putin enjoys immunity as head of state

Investigators have announced that Russian officials have postponed the decision to send weapons to Ukrainian separatists because of Mr. Putin’s presence at a commemoration of the Normandy landings in France in June 2014. The delay in sending the weapons weapons took place “because there is only one who decides (…)the one who is currently at a peak in France »explains a telephone conversation integrated into the investigation and broadcast by the investigators during the press conference.

Vladimir Putin, however, enjoys immunity as head of state, making any attempt to prosecute him impossible, investigators said. And to add: “Although we are talking about strong indications, the threshold of complete and conclusive evidence has not been reached. »

Investigators had previously concluded that the BUK missile system had been transferred from a Russian military base in Kursk, western Russia, but failed to identify the soldiers and all those responsible for the shot that destroyed the aircraft.

The announcement of this international investigative team comes less than three months after a Dutch court convicted two Russians and a Ukrainian for the murder of the passengers and crew of MH17, after trying them in their absence. . Moscow denied any involvement and called the verdict a “scandalous”.

Trial judges in the Netherlands said, delivering their verdict in November, that the missile came from Russia and that the suspects were part of a separatist group controlled by Moscow. But they only helped transfer the missile system to Ukraine, and did not fire the shot.

The World with AFP

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