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    Members of a joint investigation team present the preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 , in Nieuwegein, on September 28, 2016

    Investigation, Findings, Inconsistencies: Timeline of MH17 Disaster

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    Amid the latest claims by Dutch investigators that the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine was downed in 2014 by a missile from a Russian military unit, the prosecutors' statements over the past several years reveal the complexity of the inquiry.

    MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, carrying 298 passengers, all of whom — including the crew — were killed when the plane crashed in Ukraine's region of Donetsk on July 17, 2014. The state of occurrence (Ukraine) has delegated the investigation, announced in August 2014, to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB).

    September 9, 2014

    The DSB released a preliminary accident report saying that the MH17 crew had not sent any distress signals or reported any technical problems.

    "The pattern of damage observed in the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft was consistent with the damage that would be expected from a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from the outside," said the report.              

    The DSB chairman Tjibbe Joustra said that the initial results of the investigation pointed towards an external cause of the MH17 crash, adding that more research was required to determine the precise cause.

     OSCE employees and experts work at Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash site 51 items
    © Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresensky
    OSCE employees and experts work at Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash site 51 items

    November 16, 2014

    Recovery of the wreckage of flight MH17, commissioned by the Dutch Safety Board, began at the crash site on November 16, 2014. The documents on the recovery of the wreckage and the period subsequent to the recovery were published.

    December 9, 2014

    On December 9, 2014, two of the four convoys carrying the MH17 wreckage arrived at Gilze-Rijen air force base in south Netherlands, following which the investigation of the wreckage and preparation for the reconstruction effort had commenced.

    Dutch and Malaysian experts visit site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane crash
    © Sputnik / Igor Maslov
    Dutch and Malaysian experts visit site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane crash

    October 13, 2015

    The Dutch authorities released a report in October and presented its findings at the Gilze-Rijen air force base.

    READ MORE: Dutch MH17 Commission Presents Crash Report

    According to the findings, flight MH17 crashed as a result of a warhead that detonated as a result of a 9M38-series missile. The DSB report did not specify who fired the missile or the exact location from which the missile that downed Flight MH17 was fired. It did however identify a 320-square-kilometer area in eastern Ukraine.

    The missile, identified as part of an antiaircraft system known as Buk, detonated less than a meter to the left of the cockpit of the Boeing 777, according to the report, killing the pilots instantly and causing the aircraft to break apart.

    In response to the report, the Russian arms manufacturer and developer of the Buk missile system Almaz-Antey, said the missile in question could only have been launched from the region of Zaroshchenske, controlled by Kiev forces at the time of the incident.

    READ MORE: Dutch Safety Board Examining New Russian Findings on MH17 Crash

    The reconstructed airplane serves as a backdrop during the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015
    © REUTERS / Michael Kooren
    The reconstructed airplane serves as a backdrop during the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015

    February 25, 2016

    On 4 and 10 February 2016 Dutch Parliament asked questions to the Dutch Safety Board, relating to the investigations of the Board into the crash of flight MH17.

    The Dutch Safety Board has provided answers and issued its response to a letter of the Russian Federation, where Moscow listed its arguments on the circumstances and the information about the crash.

    "The Dutch Safety Board concludes, with reference to paragraph 5.13 of ICAO Annex 13, that none of the information provided can be regarded as new and significant evidence."    

    September 28, 2016

    At a press conference in Nieuwegein in the Netherlands, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said there was conclusive evidence that a Buk 9M38 missile hit the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777. A hundred suspects "have been identified" and an investigator said there was a ‘realistic chance' that those responsible will be brought to justice.

    "All forensic investigation, witness statements, telecom information, satellite photos, radar data, expert expertise and other supporting evidence, points to an attack by means of a ground air defense system. Flight MH17 was shot from the ground with a BUK rocket from the 9M38 series. This is apparent, for example, from forensic research. Researchers have compared suspected parts of the weapon found on the crash site with reference material. They have dismantled different types of BUK missiles from the 9M38 series. For example, the metal of particles found was compared with the parts from the dismantled missiles," the investigation reported.   

    In turn Almaz-Antey said the JIT didn't have sufficient technical evidence to support allegations Russia was somehow involved in downing MH17.

    Commenting on the report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the technical details and testaments on which the report was based came from social media and unnamed witnesses. 

    READ MORE: Dutch Investigators Present Report on MH17 Crash, Russia Considers Probe Biased

    Members of a joint investigation team present the preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 , in Nieuwegein, on September 28, 2016
    © AFP 2019 / EMMANUEL DUNAND
    Members of a joint investigation team present the preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 , in Nieuwegein, on September 28, 2016

    January 2017

    The Dutch prosecutor's office said in the beginning of 2017 it lacked information to read radar images provided by Russia, following the publication of the September report.

    Evert van Zijtveld, chairman of the MH147 Aviation Disaster Foundation, said the confusion with the interpretation of the radar data is a major setback. "Therefore, there remain doubts about the true causes of the crash. This could not be allowed," he told Telegraaf.

    April 2018

    The JIT investigation has dismissed the fact that the Buk missile was not visible on the radar images, provided to the prosecutors by Russian, did not mean that the missile had not been used.

    READ MORE: Missile Allegedly Used to Down MH17 Invisible Due to Speed — Dutch Prosecutors

    May 24, 2018

    Top Dutch investigator Wilbert Paulissen announced that the JIT "has come to the conclusion that the BUK-TELAR that shot down MH17 came from 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia. The 53rd Brigade forms part of the Russian armed forces," he told reporters at a press conference in the Netherlands.

    READ MORE: Investigators: MH17 Downed by Missile Launcher "From Russia", Won't Show Proof

    Related:

    JIT Investigation Into MH17 Tragedy Slowly Crumbles Due to Bias
    Missile Allegedly Used to Down MH17 Invisible Due to Speed – Dutch Prosecutors
    Belgian Foreign Minister Hails Progress Report on MH17 Downing
    Tags:
    airplane crash, investigation, MH17, MH17 Crash, Malaysia Airlines, Ukraine, Russia, Netherlands
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