All of the Ukrainian prosecutors who had been investigating the MH17 catastrophe have been suspended from work as part of departmental reforms, the Dutch newspaper NRC Next reports, citing one of the dismissed prosecutors.
A total of six prosecutors were involved in the investigation on Ukraine’s behalf, two of them as part of the Joint Investigation Team. In recent months, the JIT has not had a single participant from Ukraine.
Commenting on the dismissal of the prosecutors, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that “the matter is being considered, but it is being considered only in the context of normal rotation”. Prystaiko added that Ukraine will still assist the Netherlands in the investigation of the crash.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board were killed.
The international Joint Investigation Team has concluded that the aircraft was shot down by a 9M38 missile fired from a mobile Buk system in a cultivated field near Pervomaiskyi. At the time, the region was controlled by pro-Russian separatists. The investigators believe that the Buk was brought into Ukraine from Russia and then taken back to Russia after it was used to attack flight MH17.
In June 2019, the names of four suspects in the case were released: Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, Sergey “Gloomy” Dubinsky, Oleg “Caliph” Pulatov, and Leonid “Mole” Kharchenko.