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Russian Investigative Committee proposes testing Ukrainian pilot using lie detector

Testing and questioning air traffic controllers who for some unknown reasons led the MH17 Boeing that crashed in Ukraine away from the route would also be advisable, Russia's IC spokesman says

MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin has suggested testing Ukrainian pilot Voloshin in the Malaysian Boeing crash case using a lie detector.

“The fact that the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) admitted that pilot Voloshin exists is an achievement,” Markin told TASS.

“It is easy to check whether he conducted a flight on July 17. Present the so called operations record book to Dutch competent bodies, which are conducting an official investigation, or, which is better, give an opportunity to Voloshin, who, as it turned out, exists, to undergo a test on polygraph under control of Dutch or Malaysian specialists.”

He said “it would also be advisable to question and test air traffic controllers who for some unknown reasons led the Boeing away from the route.”

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash

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.”

A final report is due to be published within a year following the crash.

Investigation developments

Earlier, the Investigative Committee spokesman said investigators have received evidence of involvement of a Ukrainian military aircraft in the Malaysian Boeing’s crash.

Russian investigators on Tuesday evening questioned a Ukrainian serviceman who earlier gave an interview to the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on the Boeing crash. In line with his testimony, the Boeing 777 could have been shot down by a Su-25 of Ukraine’s Air Force flown by Ukraine Air Force pilot surnamed Voloshin.

But the SBU said Voloshin had not flown on the day when the Boeing crashed in the Donetsk Region.

Markin said that “as the witness may be endangered, the investigation is considering granting him state protection under a witness protection program.” He said that if “representatives of the international commission investigating the air crash are interested in establishing the truth and turn to us, we are ready to provide (them with) all available materials.”

Conflict in south-eastern Ukraine

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway south-eastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee Ukraine’s southeast.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.

In another attempt by both parties to the Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities, the "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9.