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10 Nov, 2014 12:01

German FM plays down intel claiming Ukraine militia downed MH17

German FM plays down intel claiming Ukraine militia downed MH17

The German Foreign Ministry maintains the media interpretation of an October statement by the president of national intelligence agency alleging self-defense militia downed MH17 flight in Ukraine was incomplete and taken out of context.

The Russian embassy in Berlin received an official response to note #3693 from October 27 regarding Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND intelligence agency) President Gerhard Schindler’s allegations that local militia in eastern Ukraine shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight in July.

“The media interpretation of the report of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) president delivered to the Bundestag Committee overseeing intelligence activities on October 8 is incomplete and arbitrarily taken out of context,” the note says.

Gerhard Schindler, President of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) (AFP Photo)

German diplomats insisted that the BND’s analysis and evaluation was based “on information obtained from intelligence and from open sources,” which included data from the interim report of the Dutch investigation commission conducting the inquiry. The report delivered by Schindler “evaluated multiple valid scenarios with regard to their plausibility and probability,” the note said.

The ministry stressed that according to the decision of the International Civil Aviation Association (ICAA), investigation of the MH17 flight crash was handed over to Dutch authorities, authorized to exclusively deliver all information on the issue.

According to information made public by Germany’s Der Spiegel daily on October 19, Schindler delivered a statement in Bundestag on October 8 in which he claimed the militia in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region fired a rocket from a BUK defense missile system which it had captured from a Ukrainian base. It shot down the Malaysian Boeing as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 passengers and crew aboard.

Putin accuses Ukrainian troops of shelling MH17 crash site

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met on Monday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the sidelines of an APEC summit in China, has also spoken on the issue of flight MH17.

Having expressed condolences to the families of the perished passengers and Malaysian state, Vladimir Putin confirmed that Moscow insists on a complete and objective international investigation of the MH17 catastrophe in accordance with the corresponding UN resolution.

A picture taken on November 10, 2014, shows parts of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80 kms east of Donetsk. (AFP Photo/Dimitar Dilkoff)

At the same time Putin disagreed with the Malaysian PM, who demanded greater access to the crash site “fully controlled by the local militia.”

“The reference that the crash site is fully controlled by so-called pro-Russian separatists is absolutely inconsistent, because it is not them, but the opposite side that is constantly shelling that territory,” Putin said. He noted that it is this shelling that prevents investigators from working properly at the crash site.

He welcomed the fact that Malaysian experts have finally got access to fully-fledged participation in the investigation.

“I’m sure your experts will contribute the necessary to the adequate investigation of this tragedy,” Putin told Razak.

An international team of investigators managed to recover more human remains from the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, the Dutch prime minister announced in late October.

Still, investigators are intending to continue with the search operation and hire local contractors to collect plane debris beyond their reach, Reuters reported last week.