Families: investigation found MH17 downed from pro-Russia rebel held territory

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NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands, Sept 28 (Reuters) - International prosecutors investigating the downing of a Malaysian airliner two years ago have concluded it was shot down by a Russian-made missile fired from rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, victims' family members said on Wednesday.

Families were informed of the prosecutors' findings shortly before a news conference was due to start in the central Dutch city of Nieuwegein on the outcome of the investigation.

A surface-to-air missile hit Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people aboard, most of them Dutch citizens.

See photos from the MH17 crash site:

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This photo taken on July 26, 2014 shows flowers, left by parents of an Australian victim of the crash, laid on a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in the Donetsk region. Ukraine sought on July 25 to avoid a political crisis after the shock resignation of its prime minister, as fighting between the army and rebels close to the Malaysian airliner crash site claimed over a dozen more lives. Dutch and Australian forces were being readied on July 26 for possible deployment to secure the rebel-held crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in east Ukraine where many victims' remains still lie nine days after the disaster claimed 298 lives. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
GRABOVO, UKRAINE - JULY 22:  A woman weeps after visiting the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 22, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine.  Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack.  (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
GRABOVO, UKRAINE - JULY 20: Ukrainian rescue servicemen look through the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 20, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on Thursday that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A man wearing military fatigues stands next to the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine, on July 17, 2014. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on Thursday that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service search for bodies in a field near the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in Donetsk region on July 26, 2014. Ukraine sought on July 25 to avoid a political crisis after the shock resignation of its prime minister, as fighting between the army and rebels close to the Malaysian airliner crash site claimed over a dozen more lives. The Netherlands and Australia, the two countries that lost the most citizens when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down, are seeking a mandate to deploy troops on the ground, possibly through a United Nations Security Council resolution. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on Thursday that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. The head of Ukraine's air traffic control agency said Thursday that the crew of the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed in the separatist east had reported no problems during flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
A photo taken on July 23, 2014 shows the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in a field near the village of Grabove, in the Donetsk region. The first bodies from flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on July 23 almost a week after it was shot down over Ukraine, with grieving relatives and the king and queen solemnly receiving the as yet unidentified victims. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service search for bodies in a field near the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in Donetsk region on July 26, 2014. Ukraine sought on July 25 to avoid a political crisis after the shock resignation of its prime minister, as fighting between the army and rebels close to the Malaysian airliner crash site claimed over a dozen more lives. The Netherlands and Australia, the two countries that lost the most citizens when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down, are seeking a mandate to deploy troops on the ground, possibly through a United Nations Security Council resolution. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A part of the fuselage of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is pictured in a field near the village of Grabove, in the Donetsk region, on July 23, 2014. The first bodies from flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on July 23 almost a week after it was shot down over Ukraine, with grieving relatives and the king and queen solemnly receiving the as yet unidentified victims. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A piece of wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is pictured in a field near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014. The missile system used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner was handed to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine by Moscow, the top US diplomat said Sunday. Outraged world leaders have demanded Russia's immediate cooperation in a prompt and independent probe into the shooting down on July 17 of flight MH17 with 298 people on board. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
RASSIPNOYE, UKRAINE - JULY 19: Women visit the site where the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crashed in a field of sunflowers on July 19, 2014 in Rassipnoye, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
A picture shows a piece of debris of the fuselage at the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk, on July 25, 2014. Ukraine sought on July 25 to avoid a political crisis after the shock resignation of its prime minister, as fighting between the army and rebels close to the Malaysian airliner crash site claimed over a dozen more lives. The Netherlands and Australia, the two countries that lost the most citizens when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down, are seeking a mandate to deploy troops on the ground, possibly through a United Nations Security Council resolution. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers and plush toys are left at the site of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Grabove, in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, on July 19, 2014. Ukraine and pro-Russian insurgents agreed on July 19 to set up a security zone around the crash site of a Malaysian jet whose downing in the rebel-held east has drawn global condemnation of the Kremlin. Outraged world leaders have demanded Russia's immediate cooperation in a prompt and independent probe into the shooting down on July 17 of flight MH17 with 298 people on board. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees collect bodies of victims at the site of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Grabove, in rebel-held east Ukraine on July 20, 2014. The missile system used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner was handed to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine by Moscow, the top US diplomat said Sunday. Outraged world leaders have demanded Russia's immediate cooperation in a prompt and independent probe into the shooting down on July 17 of flight MH17 with 298 people on board. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A stick with a white piece of cloth makrs the spot where a body lays at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Grabove, in rebel-held east Ukraine, on July 18, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists in the region and officials in Kiev blamed each other for the crash, after the plane was apparently hit by a surface-to-air missile. All 298 people on board Flight MH17 died when the plane crashed. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
GRABOVKA, UKRAINE - JULY 18: A miner searches a field for debris and human remains from an Malaysia Airlines plane on July 18, 2014 in Grabovka, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed yesterday on the Ukraine/Russia border near the town of Shaktersk. The Boeing 777 was carrying 298 people including crew members, the majority of the passengers being Dutch nationals, believed to be at least 173, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 9 Britons. It has been speculated that the passenger aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile by warring factions in the region. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on Thursday that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. The head of Ukraine's air traffic control agency said Thursday that the crew of the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed in the separatist east had reported no problems during flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
GRABOVO, UKRAINE - JULY 20: An oxygen mask system lies in a field amongst wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 20, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 18, 2014 shows the wreckages of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on July 17 that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. The head of Ukraine's air traffic control agency said Thursday that the crew of the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed in the separatist east had reported no problems during flight. All 298 people on board Flight MH17 died when the plane crashed. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
RASSIPNOYE, UKRAINE - JULY 19: A man shows a piece of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 which landed in his garden on July 19, 2014 in Rassipnoye, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
An armed pro-Russia militant stands guard at the site of the crash of a Malaysian airliner carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Grabove, in rebel-held east Ukraine, on July 18, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists in the region and officials in Kiev blamed each other for the crash, after the plane was apparently hit by a surface-to-air missile. Members of the UN Security Council demanded a full, independent investigation into the apparent shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian rescue workers collect bodies of victims at the site of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Grabove, in rebel-held east Ukraine, on July 19, 2014. Ukraine and pro-Russian insurgents agreed on July 19 to set up a security zone around the crash site of a Malaysian jet whose downing in the rebel-held east has drawn global condemnation of the Kremlin. Outraged world leaders have demanded Russia's immediate cooperation in a prompt and independent probe into the shooting down on July 17 of flight MH17 with 298 people on board. AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
GRABOVO, UKRAINE - JULY 20: A row of seats from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are lie in a field on July 20, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)
A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows flames amongst the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels fighting central Kiev authorities claimed on Thursday that the Malaysian airline that crashed in Ukraine had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet. The head of Ukraine's air traffic control agency said Thursday that the crew of the Malaysia Airlines jet that crashed in the separatist east had reported no problems during flight. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
Armed pro-Russian separatists block the way to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk on July 20, 2014. The missile system used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner was handed to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine by Moscow, the top US diplomat said Sunday. Outraged world leaders have demanded Russia's immediate cooperation in a prompt and independent probe into the shooting down on July 17 of flight MH17 with 298 people on board. AFP PHOTO/ BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
GRABOVO, UKRAINE - JULY 19: Blood stains the spot in a wheat field where the body of a passenger on Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 landed and was later removed on July 19, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
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Robby Oehlers, the cousin of 20-year-old victim Daisy Oehlers, said investigators had also identified 100 potential suspects in the plane's downing.

Families were also told that the Buk missile system that was used to shoot down the plane had been transported from Russia into Ukraine, and was returned to Russia immediately afterward.

The Kremlin said before the family members spoke that radar data showed the plane was not brought down by a rocket fired from territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

"First-hand radar data identified all flying objects which could have been launched or in the air over the territory controlled by rebels at that moment," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow.

"The data are clear-cut...there is no rocket. If there was a rocket, it could only have been fired from elsewhere."

At the time of the incident, pro-Russian separatists were fighting Ukrainian government forces in the region. The Boeing 777 broke apart in midair, flinging wreckage over several kilometers (miles) of fields in rebel-held territory.

The prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine have said they will release details of the firing location and type of BUK missile used in the attack, taking them a step closer to identifying individual culprits.

Prosecutors cannot file charges because there is no international agreement on what court a case would be heard in.

Related: Dutch citizens mourn MH17 victims:

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Ukrainian soldiers carry coffins with the remains of a victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry coffins with the remains of a victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry coffins with the remains of a victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian servicemen carry a coffin that contains the body from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during a sombre ceremony in Kharkiv on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian servicemen (L) carry a coffin that contains the body from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during a ceremony in Kharkiv on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry coffins with the remains of a victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Dutch Airforce (L), carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, takes off from Kharkiv airport, as a C17 aircraft of the Royal Australian Airforce prepares to taxi on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEY BOBOK (Photo credit should read SERGEY BOBOK/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian servicemen carry coffinS that contains the body from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during a ceremony in Kharkiv on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
A Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Dutch Airforce, carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, takes off from Kharkiv airport on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEY BOBOK (Photo credit should read SERGEY BOBOK/AFP/Getty Images)
A Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Dutch Airforce (Top), carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, takes off from Kharkiv airport, as a C17 aircraft of the Royal Australian Airforce prepares to taxi on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ ANP / EVERT-JAN DANIELS ** NETHERLANDS OUT ** (Photo credit should read Evert-Jan Daniels/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash to a military plane during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash to a military plane during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash to a military plane during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash to a military plane during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash to a military plane during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Ukrainian soldiers carry a coffin with the remains of a victim of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash to a military plane during a ceremony at the airport of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on July 23, 2014. The first plane carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 left eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands on July 23 following a sombre ceremony. The Dutch military aircraft took off from the airport in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv bound for Eindhoven after the first group of victims' remains were loaded onto the plane in wooden coffins. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Peter van Vliet (L), leader of the Dutch forensics team investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, watches a plane containing the bodies of crash victims takes off to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
The press wait in front of the military airport, as the first plane carrying corpses recovered from the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17 readied to leave for the Netherlands, in Eindhoven on July 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Peter van Vliet (L), leader of the Dutch forensics team investigating the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, watches a plane containing the bodies of crash victims takes off to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Volodymyr Groysman (C), Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, speaks at a departure ceremony for the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A Dutch military transport plane containing the bodies of crash victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 prepares to take off for the Netherlands following a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Members of the Ukrainian military stand to attention after coffins containing the bodies of victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Dignitaries wait for a plane containing the bodies of crash victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to take off for the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A Dutch military transport plane containing the bodies of crash victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 takes off for the Netherlands following a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Members of the Ukrainian military stand to attention as coffins containing the bodies of victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: Members of the Ukrainian military stand to attention as coffins containing the bodies of victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - JULY 23: A Dutch flag flies at half mast on July 23, 2014 at Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands. Later the first 50 bodies will be repatriated to Eindhoven military airbase. Today the people of the Netherlands are holding a national day of mourning. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 passengers. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue to find the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - JULY 23: A Dutch flag flies at half mast on July 23, 2014 at Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands. Later the first 50 bodies will be repatriated to Eindhoven military airbase. Today the people of the Netherlands are holding a national day of mourning. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 passengers. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue to find the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - JULY 23: A Dutch flag flies at half mast on July 23, 2014 at Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands. Later the first 50 bodies will be repatriated to Eindhoven military airbase. Today the people of the Netherlands are holding a national day of mourning. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 passengers. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue to find the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
KHARKIV, UKRAINE - JULY 23: A coffin containing the body of a victim of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is loaded onto a plane for transport to the Netherlands during a departure ceremony on July 23, 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
The Dutch flag flies half mast at Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands, on July 23, 2014. The Dutch government has declared a day of national mourning due to the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine. At 04.00 PM, when the first 50 bodies of the 298 victims will arrive on Eindhoven Airport, the country will hold a minutes silence. AFP PHOTO/ANP ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman mourns at Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands, on July 23, 2014. The Dutch government has declared a day of national mourning due to the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine. At 04.00 PM, when the first 50 bodies of the 298 victims will arrive on Eindhoven Airport, the country will hold a minutes silence. AFP PHOTO/ANP ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN netherlands out (Photo credit should read ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
MAGADAN, RUSSIA - 23: Roads, many buildings and residential areas get damaged during flood disaster happened in Magadan, Russia on July 23, 2014. (Photo by Ilya Kovyakin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MAGADAN, RUSSIA - 23: A plane, exhibited in a museum, is adrift in flood water on July 23, 2014 in Magadan, Russia. Roads, many buildings and residential areas get damaged during flood disaster happened in Magadan. (Photo by Ilya Kovyakin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MAGADAN, RUSSIA - 23: A plane, exhibited in a museum, is adrift in flood water on July 23, 2014 in Magadan, Russia. Roads, many buildings and residential areas get damaged during flood disaster happened in Magadan. (Photo by Ilya Kovyakin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
THE HAGUE , NETHERLANDS - JULY 23: A flag flies at half mast outside the Dutch parliament building as the Dutch government declares a national day of mourning to commemorate the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, on July 23, 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. Flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Robin Utrecht Photography/Getty Images)
VOLENDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 20: A couple embrace sitting at the waterside in the traditional Dutch town of Volendam as the Netherlands tries to come to terms with the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 20, 2014 in Volendam, Netherlands. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
VOLENDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 20: A photograph of Neeltje Tol (L) and Cor Schilder, who were victims of crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, is displayed outside her florist shop which is festooned with floral tributes on July 20, 2014 in Volendam, Netherlands. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
VOLENDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 20: A reflection of vistors coming to share their condolences in the florist shop window owned by Neeltje Tol and Cor Schilder, who were victims of crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 20, 2014 in Volendam, Netherlands. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
VOLENDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 20: A woman signs a book of condolence in memory of Neeltje Tol and Cor Schilder, who were victims of the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, outside the florist shop owned by Neeltje Tol on July 20, 2014 in Volendam, Netherlands. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A woman kneels by flowers layed at a remembrance spot at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam, on July 20, 2014. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which took off at Schiphol airport, was blown out of the sky on Thursday by what is believed to be a surface-to-air missile, killing 298 passengers and crew and dramatically raising the stakes in Ukraine's bloody three-month conflict. AFP PHOTO / ANP / VALERIE KUYPERS ***Netherlands out*** (Photo credit should read VALERIE KUYPERS/AFP/Getty Images)
A traveller looks at flowers layed at a remembrance spot at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam, on July 20, 2014. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which took off at Schiphol airport, was blown out of the sky on Thursday by what is believed to be a surface-to-air missile, killing 298 passengers and crew and dramatically raising the stakes in Ukraine's bloody three-month conflict. AFP PHOTO / ANP / VALERIE KUYPERS ***Netherlands out*** (Photo credit should read VALERIE KUYPERS/AFP/Getty Images)
A sea of flowers flowers lays at a remembrance spot at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam, on July 20, 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17 with more than 280 passengers, including 193 Dutch passengers on board crashed in eastern Ukraine on 17 July. AFP PHOTO/ANP VALERIE KUYPERS netherlands out (Photo credit should read VALERIE KUYPERS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Dutch flag flies half-mast at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam, on July 20, 2014. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which took off at Schiphol airport, was blown out of the sky on Thursday by what is believed to be a surface-to-air missile, killing 298 passengers and crew and dramatically raising the stakes in Ukraine's bloody three-month conflict. AFP PHOTO / ANP / VALERIE KUYPERS ***Netherlands out*** (Photo credit should read VALERIE KUYPERS/AFP/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 22: People lay down flowers to commemorate the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 at Schiphol Airport on July 22, 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue over the perpetrators of the attack. (Photo by Robin Utrecht Photography/Getty Images)
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Silene Fredriksz, whose 23-year-old son Bryce was on the airplane with his girlfriend, Daisy Oehlers expects the investigators to say the missile was fired from the rebel-held town of Snizhne.

"We will be able to deduce whether it was Russian or Ukrainian. And I think we will just get a confirmation of what we have thought for months: that is was the prior," Fredriksz said before meeting investigators.

"This is an important step. As a family we are impatient. We want to know what happened, how it happened and why. We want those responsible to face justice," she said.

If the investigation confirms that theory, which is supported by photographic evidence and witness statements collected by Reuters, it will directly challenging Moscow's suggestion that the plane was brought down by the Ukrainian military.

At the time, the nearest Ukrainian-held area was about 6 km (3.7 miles) away.

The downing played a significant part in a decision by the European Union and United States to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, and East-West tensions escalated to levels not seen since the Cold War ended.

Ukrainian and Western officials, citing intelligence intercepts, have blamed pro-Russian rebels for the incident. Russia has always denied direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict and rejects responsibility for the destruction of MH17.

Related: See an eerie reconstruction of MH17 parts:

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Reconstruction of downed MH17 plane
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Reconstruction of downed MH17 plane
Local residents assist an investigator of the prosecutor's office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, as he documents and registers the contents of a shed which the local community says contains parts of the wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in the settlement of Rozsypne (Rassypnoye) in Donetsk region, Ukraine, September 16, 2015. Locals stored parts of the wreckage of MH17 in this shed after retrieving the parts from the area surrounding the crash site since the crash in July 2014, according to local residents. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Local workers stand next to pieces of wreckage from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane outside the Prosecutor General's office in Donetsk, Ukraine, September 30, 2015. Prosecutors of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic on Wednesday began to transfer newly found wreckage, which according to them, came from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 Boeing 777 aircraft shot down over eastern Ukraine last year, to Dutch investigators, local media reported. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
The reconstructed wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The reconstructed cockpit of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is seen after the presentation of the final report regarding its crash, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board concluded on Tuesday in its final report on the crash in July 2014 that killed all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch. But the long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not point the finger at any group or party for launching the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
The wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
A damaged exit door of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
A military policeman stands guard in the cockpit of the MH17 airplane after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. The Dutch Safety Board, issuing long-awaited findings on Tuesday of its investigation into the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane over eastern Ukraine, is expected to say it was downed by a Russian-made Buk missile but not say who was responsible for firing it. Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey scheduled a separate press conference on Tuesday at which it may attempt to discredit the Safety Board findings. REUTERS/Michael Kooren TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Local workers transport wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane (flight MH17) at the site of the plane crash near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, December 16, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (UKRAINE - Tags: DISASTER POLITICS TRANSPORT)
A pro-Russian separatist standing at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, is seen in this July 18, 2014 file photo. Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on July 29, 2015 that would have set up an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing a Malaysia Airlines passenger airliner last year in eastern Ukraine. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev/Files
Local workers transport wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane (flight MH17) at the site of the plane crash near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, December 16, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (UKRAINE - Tags: DISASTER POLITICS TRANSPORT)
Local workers transport wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane (flight MH17) at the site of the plane crash near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, December 16, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov (UKRAINE - Tags: DISASTER POLITICS TRANSPORT)
Wreckage of the MH17 airplane is seen after the presentation of the final report into the crash of July 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday in its final report on the July 2014 crash that killed all 298 aboard. The long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not specify who launched the missile. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
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A civilian investigation into the cause of the incident by the Dutch Safety Board concluded last year that the airliner had been downed by a Russian-made BUK missile launched from eastern Ukraine.

Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke, head of the investigative team, said earlier it had a "long list of persons of interest" in the case and had been analyzing airplane debris and ballistics found at the scene.

Prosecutors could also indicate what charges they are considering bringing - for instance criminal negligence.

Prosecutors have sought legal assistance from Moscow since October 2014, and visited in person for a week in July.

"Russian authorities have offered information in the past, but have not answered all questions," they said in a statement at the time. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Mark Heinrich and Timothy Heritage)

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