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Published on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

MH17 crash investigators expected to name four suspects today

Four people suspected of being involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 are expected to be named today.

A Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT) is likely to announce charges for the first time.

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777, including 15 crew members, were killed after it was shot down en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Russian-backed separatists are believed to have been behind the attack, which was struck by a Russian-made missile. Below is a narrated reconstruction of the attack, produced by the Dutch Safety Board.

Russia has denied any involvement and has maintained the missile was fired from Ukrainian-held territory.

Dutch investigators are due to hold a press conference at 11am today after briefing relatives of victims. The JIT wants to try the suspects under Dutch law.

A spokeswoman for Ukraine's foreign ministry, Kateryna Zelenko, told the Unian news agency yesterday that 'as early as tomorrow the world will hear the names of the first four people suspected of involvement'.

She said Dutch prosecutors would then file the case in a Netherlands court.

"The guilt of the four suspects must be proved first and foremost in court," she addd.

Investigative journalism website Bellingcat claims to have identified individuals who might have been involved in the attack, including a military intelligence colonel in the rebel-held Donetsk area known as Khmuryi (gloomy), and a military intelligence official commanding Russian-backed separatists in Luhansk, who went by the codename Orion.

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