May 31, 2018 7:36 pm

Malaysian transport minister refuses to blame Russia for downing of flight MH17

WATCH: MH17 downed by missile belonging to Russian brigade

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Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke says there is no conclusive evidence that Russia is to blame for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, in contradiction with the findings of an international team of investigators.

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Investigators said last week that detailed analysis of video images led them to conclude that the missile that brought down the flight originated from a Russian anti-aircraft missile brigade.

READ MORE: Missile that brought down flight MH17 was from Russian military, say investigators

But Loke told Channel NewsAsia that it was premature to “pinpoint at Russia” in explaining the crash.

“There is no conclusive evidence to point at Russia under the JIT [Joint Investigative Team] evidence,” Loke said, adding that investigators’ final report will be released in July.

Australia and the Netherlands, who both had many citizens onboard the plane, said they considered Russia responsible.

WATCH: Australia blames Russia for Flight MH17 crash which killed 38 Australians

All 289 people onboard MH17 died when the flight, which was headed to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, was blown over territory held by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

Russia says the investigation is biased, and hasn’t taken into account all available evidence.

— With files from Reuters

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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