"The international investigation rushed to transfer materials to court without even completing the probe. The first hearings were held in March, they were procedural by nature. We hope that judges will pay attention to the drawbacks of investigators' work, thoroughly countercheck proofs provided by them, and order additional expert examinations," the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's First European Department, Aleksey Paramonov, has said in an interview.
He slammed the probe by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) as "politicized, biased and one-sided," noting that the JIT was showing a selective approach, trying to prove Russia's alleged involvement.
Paramonov also accused the JIT of failing to properly investigate Ukraine's role in the deadly 2014 crash, which claimed almost 300 lives.
"We have repeatedly expressed our surprise with the fact that materials, which we provide, are either ignored or declared falsified. At the same time, materials from questionable sources were adduced without any questions, including materials provided by Ukraine, which is certainly an interested party. No proper investigation has been conducted into Ukraine's role in the MH17 flight crash due to Ukrainian authorities' failure to close the air space for civilian planes flights over the zone of armed conflict," Paramonov added.
Despite not being a party to litigation, Russia closely follows how the rights of Russian defendants are respected, the diplomat noted.
"I am sure that work in this format will continue. We attach great importance to these consultations and hope they will enable us to better explain to the Australian and Dutch sides our view of what happened with the MH17 flight," Paramonov added.
The hearings in the MH17 crash case will resume on 8 June in the Dutch Schiphol Judicial Complex not far from Amsterdam. Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko are defendants in the case.
MH17 Crash Case
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, bound for Kuala Lumpur, was downed over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014 as the region was embroiled in a conflict following the coup d'etat in the country earlier that year. All 298 passengers aboard, mostly Dutch nationals, died in the crash. Almost immediately after the crash and before a formal investigation was launched, the US and many of its European allies rushed to accuse Russia of responsibility for the tragedy.
Following the incident, a Dutch-led investigative team put together to probe the tragedy claimed that the plane was shot down by a Buk missile system which was transported from Russia and returned back after the tragedy. Russia was not invited to participate in the probe.
Russia subsequently conducted its own investigation into the disaster. The manufacturer of the system, Russia's Almaz Antey company, dismissed the allegations, insisting that the rocket was fired from an area controlled by the Ukrainian military, providing evidence that the system belonged to the Ukrainian Army.
The Russian Defence Ministry has said that in 2011, the Russian authorities disposed of all the missiles from the series that included the missile whose engine the JIT demonstrated as an evidence to prove Russia's involvement in the downing of the plane.
The Russian side has repeatedly attempted to provide Dutch investigators with its evidence, but JIT has shown no interest in the Russian information.