What happens next in MH17 probe five years on?July 15, 2019
Its been five years since the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was hit by a missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine.
With the loss of all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board, the shooting of the Boeing 777 got Russia into trouble.
The incident got the world to focus for sometime on the situation in Ukraine where a war was raging.
ABC in Australia says the war in Ukraine has been defined by the downing of MH17.
There in an international inquiry and criminal charges is laid against 4 individuals for the downing of the plane.
But the families are in the middle of all the wheeling and dealing to reach an acceptable conclusion to the incident.
The moment the incident was broadcast by international news agencies, the blame was on Russian rebels fighting in Ukraine.
Rumours had it the Malaysian airliner was hit by accident. Conspiracy theories floated around saying the missile was targeting the Russian President’s aircraft. Or it was a Ukrainian soldier who fired the missile. Later we were told it was fired from the Russian side of the conflict.
In Malaysia the incident overshadowed the impact of the war in Ukraine.
It is not only the 289 people who died that day. Many more would have died in the fight on the ground.
A war that is still simmering and has no end in sight.
WHY WAS IT SHOT?
Amid the many questions and the accusations, the main mystery is why would rebels in Ukraine target a Malaysian Airliner?
No one will ever answer this perhaps because there is no why?
The answer could reside in the conflict on the ground itself? Did they think the plane was flying too low to be a commercial airliner?
Did someone order them to shoot the plane down because it was a Malaysian airplane?
There are many theories out there.
What happened is the plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and about three hours after take-off it disappeared off the radar.
Malaysians were in shock. It is the second MAS plane in the same year that disappeared!
The Malaysians were still struggling to contend with the shock of the loss of lives and the mystery of the disappearance of the MH370 when this happened.
No one was prepared for another shock.
While the news slowly sunk into the psyche of the Malaysians, we all knew it will take years to bring those responsible to face justice.
WILL JUSTICE BE DONE?
On June 19 four people were charged. They are Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
They are charged with murder and are linked to the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad expressed his dissatisfaction over the fact that the investigation was not conducted in an impartial manner.
He lamented the fact that the investigators did not give Kuala Lumpur a chance adding the investigation was rather focused on simply pinning the blame on Russia for political reasons.
They trial starts March 9 next year in the Netherlands at a high-security courthouse near Schiphol Airport.
The AFP says it is unlikely that any of the men will be present at the trial as neither Russia nor Ukraine allows its citizens to be extradited.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the probe showed “no proof” of Moscow’s guilt.