Response PM Rutte to JIT presentation of criminal investigation MH17
Prime Minister Rutte responded to the JIT-presentation of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17:
Image: ©ANP / Jerry Lampen
'This morning the families of the victims of the MH17 disaster were briefed by the Joint Investigation Team on the initial findings of the criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17. These findings concern the weapon used to down flight MH17, the location from which it was fired and the Buk missile system's route of transport.
The government greatly appreciates the work that has been done. According to the investigative authorities, this is information that can be used as evidence in criminal proceedings. This is a big step towards the ultimate goal: tracking down the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Step by step we are getting closer.
The criminal investigation is still in full swing. The international investigation team - the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and police, and the investigative authorities of Australia, Belgium, Ukraine and Malaysia - are still conducting an extensive investigation into the individuals who can be held responsible.
It is essential that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) be able to continue its work with total independence, with focus and determination and without any political interference.
The investigation is asking a lot of the victims' families, for whom answers cannot come quickly enough. Patience is a lot to ask of people who can face grief, disbelief and anger on a regular basis. We are always mindful of that struggle. We will continue to stand side by side with the victims' families. Working alongside the other JIT countries and with the broad support of the international community, we will continue striving to ensure that those responsible for the MH17 disaster do not escape justice.'