Fragments of the missile which likely shot down flight MH17 have potentially been found by investigators at the crash site.
Seven pieces found amongst the wreckage of the Boeing 777 shot down in July last year “probably” belonged to a Russian-made missile, a Dutch public prosecutor said at a press conference on Tuesday night.
An official statement from the investigation team was more cautious, saying it was “possibly” a BUK anti-aircraft missile.
“These parts have been secured during a previous recovery mission in eastern Ukraine and are in possession of the criminal investigation team MH17 and the Dutch Safety Board,” the official statement said.
The fragments could confirm the passenger jet was shot down, but it remains to be seen if they would provide any clues as to the true culprits.
All 238 passengers and crew on board perished, including 38 Australians on their flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Ukraine and many in the West have accused pro-Russian rebels of shooting down the plane, saying they may have used a BUK missile supplied by Russia.
Russia and the rebels denied any responsibility and blame Ukraine’s military.
Both Russia and Ukraine have BUKs in its weaponry. Missile’s maker said from images publicly available it was likely a BUK was responsible.
Members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) comprising representatives from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Britain, the United States and Russia are currently meeting in The Hague to discuss a draft OVV report into what caused the crash.
The statement from the OVV and JIT said that the pieces being investigated “can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17.”
“For that reason the JIT further investigates the origin of these parts. The JIT will internationally enlist the help of experts, among others forensic specialists and weapon-experts,” it said.
Investigators stressed that “at present, the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17”.
Last month Russia used its veto at the United Nations Security Council to block a proposal to set up an interntaional tribunal into the incident.
The OVV will release its final report in October which will find what, but not who, is to blame for the tragedy.
– with AAP and ABC