Fragments of a Russian surface-to-air missile system have been found by the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, Dutch prosecutors have said.
The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said possible parts of a Buk missile system had been found in eastern Ukraine “and are in possession of the criminal investigation team MH17 and the DSB”.
“The parts are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17,” investigators said.
The parts are now being further investigated by the JIT, which plans to enlist the help of experts from around the world, including forensic specialists and weapon-experts.
“At present the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17,” the statement said.
It has long been believed that the plane, which had been flying over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, was taken down by anti-aircraft missiles. Separatist leaders have denied accusations they used an anti-aircraft missile to shoot down the plane. All 298 people on board died in the crash.
Last autumn investigators said MH17 had been hit by numerous "high-energy objects" that "pierced the plane at high speed" - findings that would be consistent with a missile attack.
Malaysia has called for an international tribunal to be set up to prosecute those suspected of having shot the flight down.
More to follow...