Three and half months after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, Dutch prosecutors investigating the tragedy now believe the aircraft may have been shot down by another aircraft, according to a senior prosecutor in a German media interview.
Since the downing of the aircraft on July 17 this year, Russian officials have repeatedly said that they have radar imagery proving that the Boeing 777 was in fact shot down by Ukrainian military aircraft.
And while Western officials have largely rejected this scenario, senior prosecutor Fred Westerbeke told German newsmagazine Der Spiegel Monday that the Dutch have formally asked Russia for information.
"Based on the information available, a shooting-down by a ground-to-air missile is the most likely scenario, but we aren't closing our eyes to the possibility that it could have happened differently," Der Spiegel quoted him as saying.
"We are preparing a request to Moscow for information ... including the radar data with which the Russians wanted to prove that a Ukrainian military jet was nearby," he added.
However, in the days after the aircraft went down, the United States said that it had evidence the aircraft was brought down by a ground-to-air missile fired by Russian-supported forces that had been occupying the vicinity where the wreckage is currently lying.
These early finding were supported by an interim report released in September by the Dutch Safety Board, which investigates crashes of this sort, and found that there were military aircraft in the area, but none of the aircraft listed would have been capable of shooting it down.
More than two-thirds of the 298 people killed onboard were Dutch. The aircraft was traveling from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For many of the victims’ families and lawmakers, the hunt for the perpetrators has not moved fast enough.