Thursday, September 29, 2016
MH17: Footage shows Russian-made missile that downed plane being trucked into eastern Ukraine
An investigation that implicated Russia in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was able to track the movements of a missile launcher thanks to photos and video clips from witnesses.
Investigators revealed social media posts aided their efforts to meticulously chart the surface-to-air missile system's path - concluding it was brought into rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine from Russia.
Prosecutors confirmed the plane with 298 people on board was shot down from the village of Pervomaysk by a Russian-made missile and the launcher was trucked back to Russia after the attack.
Reconstruction footage released by investigators contains witness photos and video that show the missile launcher travelling through the city of Donetsk and smaller towns towards the launch site.
One video clip allegedly shows the truck on the side of a road in Donetsk, a photo shows it passing an apartment building and another clip shows it travelling towards farmland that was used as the launch site.
Individual suspects have not yet been identified but officials now say there is a "realistic chance" the culprits will be brought before the courts.
The Boeing 777 broke apart in midair leaving wreckage scattered over several miles of fields in rebel-held territory.
The Kremlin had earlier said that radar data showed the plane was not brought down by a rocket fired from territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
A spokesman had claimed: "First-hand radar data identified all flying objects which could have been launched or in the air over the territory controlled by rebels at that moment.
"The data are clear-cut...there is no rocket. If there was a rocket, it could only have been fired from elsewhere."
Russian officials also tipped off the JIT (Joint Investigation Team) that the rural town of Zaroshchenske was a potential launch site – claiming it was controlled by Ukrainian forces at the time.
But in an astonishing press conference investigators hit back at the claims by playing a recording of two rebels discussing the location of the attack.
An official added: "At the time of the launch the territory was not controlled by the Ukrainian army – rather it was controlled by the pro-Russian fighters."
Speaking at the event, investigator Wilbert Paulissen said: "It may be concluded that flight MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 series missile.
"This Buk was brought in from the territory of the Russian federation and after the launch was subsequently returned to the Russian federation territory.
"This conclusion is based largely on forensic investigation."
Fred Westerbeke of the Dutch National Prosecutors' Office also revealed new radar evidence marked a turning point in the case.
Officials questioned 200 witnesses as part of their investigation and analysed hundreds of thousands of photos and videos.
Prosecutors said it was unclear if the soldiers were ordered to fire a missile or if they acted independently.
Westerbeke said: "The JIT conducted the investigation as broadly as possible and investigated various scenarios from the outset although one scenario appeared to be the most likely very early on.
"Two scenarios could be ruled out - this included the possibility of an accident as consequence of human or technical failure and possibility of an attack within the aircraft for example by terrorists.
"Two scenarios remained. First the possibility that the MH17 had been shot down by another plane equipped with a weapons system.
"By now in the investigation we have been able to exclude what’s known as the air-to-air scenario.
He concluded: "Flight MH17 was shot down by a ground-based air defence system."
Posted by wikisabah at 4:53:00 PM