The New Zealand Government is deeply concerned at the finding announced two days ago by the intergovernmental Joint Investigative Team that the missile which brought down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014 originated from the 53rd brigade of the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
“Two-hundred and ninety-eight people died on 17 July 2014 in this tragic event, including one New Zealand citizen and one New Zealand resident, says Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.
“New Zealand has full confidence in the work and integrity of the Joint Investigation Team. The investigations into this tragic incident have been careful, methodical and impartial.
“New Zealand calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the investigation, as agreed in UN Security Council Resolution 2166.
“New Zealand supports international efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice, says Foreign Affairs Minister.
“This significant development gives rise to serious questions. The New Zealand Government will assess the latest finding and consider next steps.”
Video: Press Conference with Joint Investigative Team
Listen to Australia explain the findings of the investigative team. When you press play, it will automatically take you to Australia’s presentation.
“We urgently appeal to everyone, anywhere in the world who can give the JIT more information…All information and informants are treated with the utmost confidentiality and our investigators can speak to you in different languages including Russian and Ukrainian”.
Meanwhile Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement rejecting the findings of the Dutch-led investigative team which includes Australia and Malaysia. It calls it “regrettable”.
“This is a case of unfounded accusations aimed at discrediting our country in the eyes of the international community.”
Russia accuses the Joint Investigative Team of bias and “one-sidedness”, questioning the motives behind its investigation. The statement also refers to online research by Bellycat, a UK-based online group of citizen investigative journalists, calling them “amateurs” in one media report.
Bellycat are reportedly mostly volunteers, who have sifted through open source information including social media and satellite images to conduct their own investigation into the missile shooting of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.