By MIKE CORDER
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An international team investigating the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine appealed Thursday for information about a photograph which prosecutors believe features the Buk rocket that blew the passenger jet out of the sky, killing all 298 on board.
The photo of the missile, which investigators believe was likely taken in the Ukrainian town of Makeevka on the day the flight was shot down, was recently received via a website to which members of the public can anonymously post evidence, said Elsbeth Kleibeuker, a spokeswoman for the Dutch National Prosecution Office.
The photo shows what appears to be a missile partially draped in camouflage netting on a mobile launcher. The vehicle is partially obscured by a dark van and the rear of a car.
“We believe this is the Buk that downed flight MH17,” Kleibeuker said.
The Boeing 777 was shot down July 17, 2014, over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The international criminal probe has concluded that the missile was fired from Russia-backed rebel-controlled territory by a mobile launcher trucked in from Russia. Moscow has denied any involvement.
In a statement, the joint investigative team known by its acronym JIT, said it wants “anyone who has any kind of information about the picture, the vehicles on it and the location where the picture was taken to contact the JIT. We will handle your information with ultimate care.”
Prosecutors have not said when the investigation will be completed. Any trials stemming from the plane crash probe will be held in Dutch courts.