In the next three weeks, various international experts will meet in the Netherlands to examine the evidence in the criminal investigation into the crash of flight MH17, on 17 July last year.
This involves, among others, experts in metals and paints as well as experts in the fields of weapon systems, explosives and ballistics. The independent experts are from the countries which participate in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) i.e. the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Belgium and Ukraine. The JIT is investigating the cause of the crash and who are responsible. The ultimate aim is tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators.
Previously, the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) already presented the results of their investigation into the cause of the crash. Their conclusion was that flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK-missile. This is the most probable scenario in the criminal investigation as well. However, in the criminal investigation the burden of proof is higher since in future criminal proceedings there must be indisputable evidence that it was indeed a BUK-missile that brought down MH17. Alternative scenarios must be excluded. Moreover, the evidence must be gathered in accordance with statutory procedures. Therefore, the expert meeting is meant to conduct an in-depth study of the available evidence.
The independent experts will present the intermediate results of their investigations to date, they will compare their findings and conduct more detailed examinations. As an example they will examine the soil samples which were taken earlier this year from the possible launch sites and which have been processed in the meantime. There will also be in-depth research into possible parts of a BUK-missile.
It is the third time that such an expert meeting is held in the context of the criminal investigation. The three-week meeting must lead to a significant step forward in the criminal investigation and towards legal and convincing evidence in particular. Afterwards, further arrangements will be made regarding additional processing of results of the investigations and the opportunities for follow-up examinations.