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Sat, 01 Oct, 2016 12:02:13 AM
Probe into 2014 Malaysian plane shooting in Ukraine
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 1
 
President Sauli Niinistö spoke at a press conference in Helsinki on Friday on the Finnish assistance to Netherlands regarding investigation into 2014 Malaysian plane shooting in Ukraine. Photo – Lehtikuva.
President Sauli Niinistö on Friday said that Finland wanted to help clarify how the July 2014 shooting of a Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine took place.
 
He said that the decision granting legal aid was given very quickly after the request for assistance was received from the Netherlands. 
 
The Netherlands asked for information, because Finland has knowledge of Russian Buk missiles, said the President at a press conference to explain the details behind the request made by the Netherlands. Foreign Minister Timo Soini was also present at the press conference.
 
According to Niinistö, Finland has sent materials related to the investigation to the Netherlands on several occasions.
 
At the same time, however, it had to be assessed whether sending the data and the test fragments to a third party violate the terms of the commercial contract used to acquire the missiles from Russia.
 
“Disclosure of information is perfectly natural, but commercial law does not always interact in natural ways,” Niinistö said.
 
The legal aid has not been discussed with Russia, he added.
 
Upon receiving the request, Russia was informed, but it has not been discussed.
 
The Buk missile test was carried out by Finland in October 2015. 
 
Niinistö said he did not know where the test explosions were carried out. Dutch authorities were also in attendance.
 
“I stress that in every turn, we've been forced to return to the original dilemma of whether the transfer of parts to a third party agrees with the terms of the contract,” said Niinistö.
 
Niinistö imagines Finland being a tough spot, but the request was granted, despite the risks.
 
The Dutch authorities asked for legal assistance from Finland in secret. 
 
Now the matter will be opened, as the Netherlands has commented on the matter, said the Presi-dent.
 
All the 298 people on board including the pilots and cabin crew were killed when the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was gunned down to ground in Ukrainian territory in July 2014.
 
The aircraft flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur started descending 50 kilometres before entering the Russian airspace.
 
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