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Int'l investigators suspend probe into MH17 downing

09 Feb 2023, 02:05 GMT+10

THE HAGUE, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- An international team of investigators has suspended their investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 citing lack of evidence.

"The purpose of this investigation was to find out the truth, and I think we have come further than we ever imagined in 2014," Digna van Boetzelaer, deputy chief public prosecutor of the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service and leader of the MH17 team, told a press conference here.

Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, was blown out of the sky on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board died, among them 196 Dutch citizens.

The Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine worked together to conduct the international criminal investigation of the cause of the crash and those thought to be responsible.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said that it had learned a lot about the decision making process regarding the provision of a Buk missile, the weapon that was used to shoot down flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014.

Although the investigators obtained new information about the Russian government's role in the downing of the flight, the evidence is not enough to launch a new lawsuit, according to the JIT.

Russia has denied any involvement in the downing of MH17.

"The high bar of complete and conclusive evidence is not met," the investigators concluded. Therefore, there is too little evidence to start a new lawsuit.

On Nov. 17 last year, a Dutch court sentenced three suspects in absentia to life imprisonment for their involvement in the downing of MH17.

The three were also ordered to pay more than 16 million euros (16.5 million U.S. dollars) in damages to the relatives of the victims.

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