VIJFHUIZEN, Netherlands (AP): A Dutch father is pleading for those who shot down a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine to be punished, as he mourns his two children and in-laws killed in the disaster.
At an emotional ceremony marking three years since MH17 was shot down, Evert van Zijtveld said victims’ families “shall not give up and shall not be silenced until those who are responsible have been brought to justice.”
Speaking to relatives and friends of the 298 victims of the crash, Van Zijtveld said the loss of his 19-year-old daughter Frederique and 18-year-old son Robert-Jan “left a hole in our hearts.”
He and other families spoke at a new memorial near the Amsterdam airport from which the plane departed. Van Zijtveld said, “Our loved ones together went on a journey on July 17, 2014, and this memorial forest symbolically unites them again.”
An international criminal probe has concluded that the missile was fired from rebel-controlled territory by a mobile launcher trucked in from Russia. Russia has denied involvement.
The European Union foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, has called for international cooperation in the hunt for those responsible for shooting down a Malaysian airlines plane over eastern Ukraine three years ago.
The Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, by a missile, killing all 298 people aboard.
In a statement, Mogherini said: “To ensure that those responsible for the downing of MH17 are held accountable and brought to justice, the criminal investigation needs the continuing support of the international community. We expect all the states that are in a position to assist the investigation and prosecution of those responsible to do so, as demanded by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is calling for justice for 298 people who were killed when a Malaysian airline was shot down three years ago over separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.
The Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, by a missile. International investigators have concluded that the Buk missile was fired from Russia-backed rebel-controlled territory by a mobile launcher trucked in from Russia and hastily returned. Moscow rejects these findings.
Poroshenko said on Monday Ukraine is mourning for the victims and said he believes the perpetrators of the attack would be brought to justice.
Victims came from 17 countries, with 196 of them Dutch. The Dutch government said earlier this month that any suspects will be prosecuted in the Netherlands.
Relatives and friends of people killed three years ago when a surface-to-air missile blew a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet out of the sky over Ukraine are marking the anniversary together with the Dutch king at a new memorial near the Amsterdam airport from which the plane departed.
Monday afternoon’s commemoration comes as international investigators continue their painstaking probe aimed at bringing to justice those responsible for shooting down Flight 17 and killing all 298 passengers and crew.
The Boeing 777 was destroyed by a Buk missile on July 17, 2014, over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine. The international criminal probe has concluded that the missile was fired from rebel-controlled territory by a mobile launcher trucked in from Russia. Russia has denied any involvement, and denounced the conclusions as politically biased.