International investigators on Wednesday announced that they have suspended their criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. Dutch prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer said at a press conference in The Hague that the investigation has now reached its limit and they have insufficient evidence to launch any new prosecutions.
Prosecutors said they could not confirm which soldiers were directly involved in firing the missile that brought down the plane.
Last November, Dutch judges convicted three men of murder for their role in shooting down flight MH17 and sentenced them to life in prison in absentia. Convicted were two Russians and one Ukrainian. A fourth man was acquitted.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry rejected what it said was a politically motivated verdict, saying Dutch prosecutors ignored evidence that the missile could have been fired by Ukrainian troops from territory controlled by Ukrainian government troops. Meanwhile, Ukraine applauded the conviction of the three suspects.
On July 17, 2014, MH17 flight on its way from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was struck by a missile over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Ukrainian authorities and some Western countries believe Russia and breakaway forces in eastern Ukraine were behind this incident, but they say the plane was hit by a missile fired from an area controlled by Ukrainian government troops.