MH17 probe releases new phone calls linking suspects to top Russians

Cheryl Sanders
November 16, 2019

A series of phone intercepts released by a team investigating the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine show ties between Moscow and the pro-Russian rebels accused of shooting down the aircraft were "much closer" than originally believed, investigators said.

"Recent analysis of witness statements and other information revealed that Russian influence on the DPR went beyond military support and that the ties between Russian officials and DPR-leaders appear closer", the team said.

The phone taps showed that rebel leaders Alexander Borodai, and Igor Girkin communicated with Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed leader in Crimea, and Vladislav Surkov, a high ranking official of the Russian government and senior aide to President Vladimir Putin.

'Thee JIT is looking for information on the individuals within the military and administrative hierarchy who enabled the shooting down of MH17 in eastern Ukraine using a BUK TELAR, ' the organisation said in a statement.

All 298 travellers and crew on board the flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur had been being killed - among the many them had been Newcastle United lovers Liam Sweeney and John Alder who had been being travelling to view the Toon's pre-time tour of New Zealand.

Investigators believe leading rebels were equipped by Russia's FSB security service with secure phones that can not be tapped and operate via the internet, apparently nicknamed "the glass".

In other calls, a separatist commander said "men are coming with a mandate" from Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu and another was told the separatists would receive military support from Moscow.

The worldwide probe said the communications raised questions about the probably involvement of high officers in Moscow within the deployment of the missile that shot down the Malaysia Airways plane in 2014.

A global group of investigators piecing collectively a felony state of affairs concerning the taking pictures down of Malaysia Airways Flight 17 over Ukraine say proof suggests one-way hyperlinks amongst Russian Federation and separatists within the location had been nearer than earlier believed.

"On Saturday, they are already departing for the south to be combat ready", he said.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied involvement in the downing of the plane. One of the witnesses stated that "DPR leaders" regularly came to Moscow to consult with their contacts in FSB and GRU.

"The JIT wants to know by whom these telephone numbers were used". The telephone numbers that were used are from the same series and appear to be provided by the Russian security service FSB.

In June, the investigators announced that they had charged 4 persons, which include three Russians, with murder about their alleged roles in the downing of Flight MH17 in July 2014.

They're all anticipated to be tried in absentia.

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne vowed justice for the 38 Australian citizens and residents who also died, and said the intercepts "further link Russia" to the plane's downing.

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