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Case MH17: The investigation has evidence of Russia’s involvement in the war in Donbas

During a hearing in The Hague District Court in the case of the Malaysian flight MH17 shot down in Donbas, Dutch prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse said that the investigation had gathered evidence of Russia’s direct involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine.

The prosecutor stressed: “During the investigation, it became clear that Russia was directly involved in the armed conflict in the relevant period, around July 17, 2014. Evidence has been gathered from various sources that Russia has been supplying weapons to the armed forces, as well as joining the militants and paying for [their work]”.

In addition, the investigation revealed that Russian officials were involved in the organization and coordination of illegal armed groups in Donbas.

Also, Dutch prosecutor Theis Berger said that the investigation has a witness who saw the anti-aircraft missile system “Buk“, from which the plane was shot down, and heard the moment of the rocket launch.

This witness appears in the case as “X48”. In 2016, the investigating judge heard this anonymous witness. The prosecutor’s office only had the opportunity to ask a few written questions. Therefore, the prosecution would like to question “X48” again, referring the investigating judge for safe questioning.

“Like and [witness] M58, X48 was present at the scene. This witness states that on the afternoon of July 17, 2014, near the checkpoint of the self-proclaimed “DPR” on the road from Snizhny to [towards] Savur-Mohyla, he saw “Buk” driving and in a few minutes heard and saw that the rocket was launched. X48 saw the field catch fire and knows where the rocket was launched,” the prosecutor said.

According to him, this place coincides with the place of the rocket launch, recorded in satellite images.

“X48 claims that after the Buk rocket was launched, it went on the road and that there were four soldiers in the same uniform. The uniform was khaki, they were wearing helmets. These soldiers did not look like those who stood at the checkpoint,” said Berger.

We will remind, now the investigation proceeds, and from the first block of hearings in court the volume of the case grew, exceeding 40 thousand pages.

According to Chief Justice Hendrik Stinheys, the case will include a recent scandalous interview of terrorist Ihor Girkin with Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Gordon.

In the case of the downed liner of flight MH17, Girkin is one of the four main suspects.

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