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MH17: 'Persons of interest' identified by prosecutors

"Persons of interest" have been identified in an international criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

After a report by the Dutch Safety Board found that a Russian-made Buk missile filed from rebel-held eastern Ukraine was likely to have caused the disaster, prosecutors said findings from their separate criminal probe "point in that same direction".

The Dutch-led team of investigators did not name any of the suspects said to have been identified.

Putin should call MH17 families, says British victim's sister

Vladimir Putin has been urged to contact victims of the disaster. Credit: Reuters

Vladimir Putin should call the families of victims of the MH17 air disaster, a sister of one of the British victims of the crash has said.

Speaking to ITV News, Tracey Withers, whose brother Glenn Thomas was among 10 Britons killed in the disaster, said if the Russian President had time to call Elton John, he should also have time to speak to those affected by the disaster.

She also spoke of her relief after a report by the Dutch Safety Board found that passengers were likely to have died instantly when a Buk missile hit close to the plane's cockpit.

"It does make you feel better," she said. "You don't want any of them to suffer."


White House: 'Assessment unchanged' over MH17 crash

Dutch investigators' report into the MH17 air crash is an "important milestone" in efforts to prosecute those responsible, the White House's National Security Council (NSC) has said.

Following the Dutch Safety Board's report, NSC spokesman Ned Price said: "Our assessment is unchanged — MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine."

He added that the US maintains its support for the separate criminal investigation into the disaster, adding: "The victims and their loved ones remain in our thoughts and prayers."


Dutch PM: Putin must co-operate with MH17 criminal probe

Vladimir Putin and Mark Rutte in 2013. Credit: Reuters

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to co-operate fully with a separate criminal investigation into the MH17 air crash which killed 193 Dutch passengers.

A report published by the Dutch Safety Board into the cause of the disaster said the plane had been hit by a Russian-made Buk missile, but did not apportion blame for the crash.

Jeremy Corbyn criticises government for bidding on Saudi prisons contract

Jeremy Corbyn Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn has criticised the government for bidding on the controversial £5.9m Saudi prison contract.

The government announced today that it would be dropping its bid for the contract.

The project was to provide a training programme for prisons in Saudi Arabia.

David Cameron has been shamed into a u-turn on this terrible contract, but why on earth was it set up in the first place?

We should be sending a strong message to repressive regimes that the UK is a beacon for human rights and that this contract bid is unacceptable in the 21st century, and would damage Britain's standing in the world.

– Jeremy Corbyn

Malaysia Airlines thanks investigators for MH17 'clarity'

Malaysia Airlines has thanked Dutch investigators for their "detailed and exhaustive" investigation into the MH17 air disaster, adding that the company hopes it will "give clarity" to victims' families.

In a statement, the airline said it had "worked very closely with the Dutch authorities and given full co-operation to the investigative team".

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