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Statement by the Tánaiste on the investigation into the downing of flight MH17

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, responded today to the announcement on 19 June 2019 by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the Dutch National Prosecutor that they will charge four suspects with the murder of 298 people and causing the crash of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014.


The Tánaiste said:


“This is an ongoing and meticulous investigation and I wish to commend the professionalism of the JIT.  Today, I want to reiterate the call on all countries to cooperate with the investigation, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2166 (2014).  We must establish truth, justice and accountability for the 298 victims and their grieving families. 


“I have every trust and confidence in the integrity, impartiality and independence of the Dutch legal system.  Criminal proceedings will begin next March and it is incumbent on the suspects to report themselves to the jurisdiction of the court and for all relevant countries to respond to all requests to cooperate in legal assistance.


“As we approach the fifth anniversary of the downing of flight MH17, our thoughts and sympathies remain with the families and friends of those who so tragically lost their lives.”

  • On 17 July 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur crashed over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers, including one Irish-born passenger, lost their lives. The majority of victims were from The Netherlands (193), Malaysia (43), Australia (27), Indonesia (12) and the UK (10).
  • A criminal investigation was launched into the downing of the flight by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) led by the Netherlands, comprising investigation authorities from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia and Belgium.
  • A separate investigation into the technical cause of the crash was conducted by the Dutch Safety Board and concluded that the crash was caused by the detonation of a warhead fired from a BUK missile system.
  • On 21 July 2014, UN Security Council Resolution 2166 was passed unanimously, calling for the repatriation of remains, a comprehensive investigation and the holding to account of those responsible.

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