Ukraine failed to provide a Dutch court with primary radar data, related to the MH17 crash, the prosecutor announced on Tuesday.
"Ukraine has effectively not presented any primary radar data. Ukraine has told the Dutch Safety Board that no primary radar data was registered, as the radar was not operating at that moment", Dutch Prosecutor Thijs Berge said at the hearings into the MH17 case.
The prosecution also stated it possessed no evidence showing a surface-to-air missile was fired from the areas around the settlements of Snezhnoye and Zaroschenskoye in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014.
"We have explored the area, using satellite images, photos, witnesses' evidence, telecom information and other sources", Berger said, adding that the prosecution looked at images to detect possible changes indicating a missile launch. "The prosecution has come to a preliminary conclusion that there is no specific evidence proving the launch of a surface-to-air missile”, Berger noted.
He specified that Dutch and Belgian experts had established that the missile could not have been launched from Zaroschenskoye, taking into consideration the registered damage. Apart from that, there are no witnesses from Zaroschenskoye who point to the launch, according to Berger.
Hearings in the case resumed on Monday at the Schiphol Judicial Complex near Amsterdam. At the moment, three Russian citizens and one Ukrainian national are facing trial over their alleged responsibility for the downing of the flight.
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was downed over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014 as the self-proclaimed republics in the region were engulfed in an armed conflict with the new government following a coup earlier that year. As a result, all 298 passengers – mostly Dutch – and crew on board were killed in the crash.
Following the tragedy, Kiev and the republics blamed each other for the downing, with the latter contending that they had no military equipment that would allow them to shoot down an aircraft at that altitude.
Almost immediately after the incident, the US and its European allies claimed, without presenting any evidence, that Russia had provided the Donetsk People's Republic's (DPR) militia with the weaponry that was used to down the aircraft.
These allegations were used by Washington and Brussels as a pretext to introduce sanctions against Moscow.
Shortly thereafter, the Netherlands set up a Joint Investigative Team (JIT) to probe the MH17 case, having, however, left out Russia from the process despite its consistent offers to assist in the investigation.
Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations and even provided vast amounts of data such as radar feeds from the area of the crash and info on the Buk 9M38-series air defence system showing that it couldn't have been used to down the plane, but this information was ignored by the JIT.
In 2018, the JIT released a report claiming that the missile that shot down MH17 was launched by DPR forces and that the Buk launcher had been delivered from Russia. Moscow stated that the probe was politically motivated, pointing out that the team had based its claims on unverified social media photos and videos, as well as assertions by the Ukrainian government.
In the final report, published on 18 June 2019, the JIT accused three Russians and one Ukrainian of being responsible for the downing, issuing international arrest warrants for them.