The Dutch military has received an actual Buk anti-aircraft missile system from Georgia to use in its investigation of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 downing in July 2014.
According to a report by Dutch television news service RTL, employees of the Dutch military intelligence and security flew to Georgia on a MoD’s Hercules cargo aircraft on February 21. They were handed over a Buk missile by local Georgian authorities.
A spokesman of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) thus confirmed to RTL Nieuws. The Netherlands appealed to Georgia for legal assistance because the Netherlands Forensic Institute advised to gather as much information as possible, RTL reported Wednesday.
"For this reason, the Joint Investigative Group (JIT) has contacted several countries, including Finland, Ukraine and Georgia. In line with UN Resolution 2166, Georgia provided the required legal aid, and in early 2017 the Buk missile became available to the criminal investigation", he said.
The Dutch TV channel, referring to its own sources, also said that the Buk missile has also been made available to the Dutch Ministry of Defence, which seeks to gain insight into the rocket’s features. The Ministry wants to know to what extent the missile can pose a threat to the new JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) aircraft.
The edition noted that this is not the first Buk missile used by the Netherlands in the investigation of the MH17 crash. Previously, tests were conducted in Finland, where the explosive power of the missile was tested.
Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over militant-occupied territory in Donetsk region.
All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Safety Board on October 13, 2015 issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system. The Joint Investigation Team in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia.