MOSCOW, November 18 (Sputnik) — Malaysia has not yet become involved in the criminal probe into the crash of Flight MH17 in the eastern Ukraine, The Star Online reported Tuesday, citing Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands.
"Malaysian Ambassador to the Netherlands Datuk Dr Fauziah Mohd Taib said Malaysia had not been invited to officially join the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is undertaking the criminal probe," the Malaysian news outlet said.
According to The Star Online, Ambassador Taib stated that the Malaysian side in MH17 crash investigation is represented only by a team of technical experts.
During his visit to Malaysia earlier in November, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Kuala Lumpur should be given a more significant role in the probe to be able to investigate the crash site, as the aircraft was registered in Malaysia and because of the high number of Malaysian victims.
The Star Online added that Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai recently claimed Malaysia would like to participate in the criminal probe, informing the Dutch side of its intention.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.
According to a preliminary report issued by the Dutch Safety Board early in September, the plane most likely broke up in mid-air as a result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects penetrating the aircraft from the outside.
Kiev accused independence supporters in eastern Ukraine of shooting the plane down, but has not provided any evidence to back this claim. Local militia leaders have said that they do not have weapons capable of shooting down a plane flying at 32,000 feet.
On November 13, Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said that the investigation into the MH17 crash will be extended until August 2015.