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MH17 relatives gain final glimpse of victims’ lives

June 13, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Relatives of those aboard doomed flight MH17, shot down over Ukraine in 2014, have been granted permission to view final moving images of victims boarding the flight.

Emirates 24/7 News reported yesterday that Dutch investigators have come to a deal with a relatives’ foundation to view CCTV camera footage taken at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. It was filmed just before the Malaysia Airlines B777-200 took off on 17 July 2014 on its fatal flight.

The flight had 298 people aboard, most of them Dutch citizens but including 38 Australian citizens or residents. A Dutch report concluded that the crash was caused by the detonation of a 9N314M-type warhead launched from the eastern part of Ukraine (a battle zone at the time) using a BUK missile system. Exactly who fired, and who is to blame, is the subject of long-running dispute.

Australian flag among floral tributes at Schiphol Airport after MH17 crash in 2014


Chairman of the MH17 victims’ foundation, Evert van Zijtveld, said the green light for viewing airport footage would require relatives to sign an oath of secrecy to comply with Dutch privacy laws.

The video images, taken by 34 security cameras at Schiphol’s departures hall and lounge, are believed to show passengers relaxing and preparing for the flight.

It has not been established when the relatives will gather for the viewing but the aim is that it should be in the next five weeks, before the next MH17 commemoration on 17 July 2017.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation into the plane’s downing stopped short of saying who actually fired the missile. The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement, claiming that a Ukrainian fighter jet is most likely to have shot down MH17. The Dutch investigation rejected that, but Russian media has published an even more astonishing accusation – that the damage to MH17 corresponds, not to a BUK, but to an Israeli Python air-to-air missile.

Russia insists the most likely perpetrator is Ukraine or its forces. Ukraine vehemently denies that.

Written by Peter Needham

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