Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: Dutch Safety Board dismisses Russia's complaints on report findings

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry claims this was the Buk missile launcher that was used to shoot down the plane. Photo: AP Photo/Ukrainian Interior Ministry
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry claims this was the Buk missile launcher that was used to shoot down the plane. Photo: AP Photo/Ukrainian Interior Ministry
Australian Federal Police officers and their Dutch coutnerparts collect human remains from the MH17 crash site in the fields outside the village of Grabovka in the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic, Ukraine on August 2, 2014.  Photo: Kate Geraghty

Australian Federal Police officers and their Dutch coutnerparts collect human remains from the MH17 crash site in the fields outside the village of Grabovka in the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic, Ukraine on August 2, 2014. Photo: Kate Geraghty

A pair of hello kitty shoes lay at one of the sites where the front section of Malaysian flight MH17 crashed and the pilots bodies were found. 298 people were killed, including 38 Australians. Photo: Kate Geraghty

A pair of hello kitty shoes lay at one of the sites where the front section of Malaysian flight MH17 crashed and the pilots bodies were found. 298 people were killed, including 38 Australians. Photo: Kate Geraghty

London: The Dutch Safety Board has dismissed Russia's complaints about its findings on the crash of flight MH17, saying none of the extra 'evidence' that Russia had provided was "new or significant".

In October last year, the DSB published a report concluding that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in July 2014 after it was hit by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.

A total of 298 people were killed when MH17 was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, including 38 who called Australia home.

After the report was published, Russia sent a detailed list of complaints to the Board detailing evidence it said the Board had ignored or failed to properly consider.

In an 11-page response, publicly released on Thursday, the DSB rejected all of Russia's claims.

"None of the information provided can be regarded as new and significant evidence," DSB Chairman Tjibbe Joustra said, in a cover letter addressed to Russia's transport ministry.

Russia claimed that Ukraine had "deliberately concealed or distorted" information about threats to flights in the area.

It also highlighted tests performed by Buk missile manufacturers in Russia, which it said proved that the fragments found in MH17 wreckage – and the pattern of damage to the aircraft – could not have come from the kind of missile in use by Russian forces.

However, the DSB said Russia had not provided any evidence or arguments that would change its report's conclusions on these matters.

Russia quoted a report by Russian television channel RT saying the "spray area" of missile fragments on the aircraft did not match descriptions in the DSB report.

However, the DSB said RT's investigation had not used a "sound method" of analysis, and Russia's alternative theory that a smaller warhead had caused the damage was "not consistent with the damage pattern observed".

Russia also contested the DSB's estimate of where the missile was fired from – a small area within eastern Ukraine.

However, the DSB said Russia had "based its calculations on an incorrect detonation point and orientation of the weapon".

The DSB also published a detailed response to questions from the Dutch Parliament about the report.

The parliament had asked a series of questions, including whether the DSB was satisfied with evidence from Ukraine flight control, and whether it had radar and satellite data that could precisely locate where the missile was fired from.

The DSB replied that it was satisfied that evidence had not been faked by Ukraine, it was "held to confidentiality" over the source of its satellite data, and questions of blame or liability were being considered by a separate criminal investigation which is yet to report.

It conceded that there was some missing radar data from the time of the attack on MH17, but "if it had been available, it would not have changed our conclusion about the cause of the crash".

The parliament raised reports of other military aircraft seen near MH17 at the time of the crash, but the DSB said it had "explicitly excluded" the presence of military aircraft near MH17. There were no military units within at least 30km of MH17, and the nearest civilian aircraft was 33km away.

This story Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: Dutch Safety Board dismisses Russia's complaints on report findings first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.