THE HAGUE, Sept 26, 2015:
The Dutch government said on Friday it would repatriate more remains of victims from last year’s Malaysia Airlines MH17 air crash over Ukraine, as it prepared to publish a report into the cause.
The Dutch Justice Ministry said a ceremony to mark the arrival of the latest remains unearthed would be held at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and invites had been sent out to families of two still unidentified victims of last year’s tragedy.
Following the downing on July 17 last year of the passenger jet with 298, mainly Dutch, nationals aboard, the Netherlands led teams of international investigators to retrieve body parts, probe the cause of the incident and eventually prosecute those responsible.
All aboard the plane brought down during heavy fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists were killed.
A preliminary Dutch report said it had been hit by numerous “high-energy objects” and last month investigators said they had found fragments “probably” from a Russian-made surface-to-air missile at the crash site.
The downing of the Boeing 777 flying to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, has been widely blamed on pro-Russian rebels.
But Moscow and the rebels deny any responsibility and point the finger at Ukraine’s military.
A Dutch team still in the area will bring home the latest remains and personal effects, the ministry said, without specifying a date.
They will be flown back on a commercial jet — previous repatriations of remains were undertaken by military aircraft.
The remains and belongings will be handed over to the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) investigating the crash.
The OVV’s final report drawn up by Dutch, Australian, Belgian, Malaysian and Ukrainian experts is set for publication on Oct 13.
But the OVV will only determine the cause of the crash, not identify those responsible.