AMSTERDAM, Feb 8 — Russian President Vladimir Putin played an active role in the shooting down of passenger plane MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, according to international investigators.
This conclusion emerged from intercepted telephone conversations, the investigators said in The Hague on Wednesday.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing was shot down by a Russian BUK air defence missile over contested territory in July 2014. All 298 people on board died.
There were ‘strong indications’ that the decision to offer the BUK missiles to the pro-Russian rebels was taken by Putin, but investigators said they did not have evidence that Putin had actually ordered the shooting down of the plane. Moreover, Putin was immune from prosecution by virtue of his office, reported German Press Agency (dpa).
The evidence was also insufficient to indict other suspects. The investigations would therefore be temporarily suspended. “We have reached our limits,” the investigators said.
Russia had always denied any involvement in the shooting down of flight MH17.