(Presidentialwire.com)- After prosecutors at The Hague said they found “strong indications” that Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, the Kremlin dismissed the claims saying there was no evidence, Reuters reported.
Last Wednesday, prosecutors at The Hague, citing intercepted phone calls, said that they found “strong indications” that Putin approved the use of the Russian BUK missile system that was used to shoot down the aircraft as it flew over eastern Ukraine from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people aboard, including 196 Dutch citizens.
However, the prosecutors said evidence of the direct involvement of Putin or any Kremlin official was not conclusive enough to pursue a criminal conviction so the probe was halted.
At the time of the incident, Russian-backed separatists were fighting Ukraine for control of the eastern Donbas region.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters that prosecutors published a record of one “supposed phone call” that did not include a “single word” about “weapons.” He said assuming the phone call is legitimate, “there is not one word about weapons.” He said nothing else has been published, “so it’s impossible to say anything.”
When asked specifically about the claim that the Russian president approved the delivery of BUK missile systems to the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, Peskov said that since Russia played no part in the investigation, “we cannot accept these results,” especially since no evidence supporting the statements “has been made public.”
After the Malaysian plane was destroyed, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine established a joint investigation team to determine who was responsible and to assemble evidence for criminal prosecutions.
In November, a Dutch court convicted two former Russian intelligence officers and a Ukrainian separatist leader of murder for their role in arranging the missile system used to shoot the plane down. All three were tried in absentia and remain at large.