SINGAPORE, November 25. /TASS/. The group of international investigators may need at least one year to collect evidence and bring to trial those guilty of the MH17 Boeing crash in eastern Ukraine in July, Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said Tuesday.
“According to our assessments, experts will need a year or even more to gather all evidence,” Zainuddin said during hearings in parliament. Besides, he said, “It is too early to name those guilty of what happened even despite the fact that the aircraft’s wreckage was removed from the crash site.”
On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Most passengers — over 190 people — were Dutch nationals.
The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the probe and coordinating the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report published September 9 that “Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”
Despite a relevant pledge by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte given November 5, experts from Malaysia are not yet taking part in the criminal probe into the reasons of the Boeing 777 crash. Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar on November 19 demanded “active participation of Malaysian experts in the work of the joint investigative group.”
Otherwise, Abu Bakar said, Malaysia will “find it hard to cooperate in the process of investigation.” He also said he is going to head to Amsterdam on December 3 to discuss Malaysia’s participation in the process.