VIJFHUIZEN, Netherlands – The father of two siblings killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine three years ago said Monday that relatives of the 298 people killed would not rest until those responsible face justice.
At an emotional ceremony marking three years since MH17 was shot down, Evert van Zijtveld said a group representing victims’ families “shall not give up and shall not be silenced until those who are responsible have been brought to justice.”
As Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima along with some 2,000 friends and relatives of victims gathered at a new memorial, Van Zijtveld said the loss of his 19-year-old daughter Frederique and 18-year-old son Robert-Jan “left a hole in our hearts.”
The commemoration came as international investigators continue their painstaking probe aimed at prosecuting those responsible for shooting down Flight 17 and killing all the passengers and crew.
The Boeing 777 was destroyed by a Buk missile on July 17, 2014, over conflict-torn eastern Ukraine. The international criminal probe has concluded that the missile was fired from rebel-controlled territory by a mobile launcher trucked in from Russia. Russia has denied any involvement, and denounced the conclusions as politically biased.
Investigators last year said they had pinpointed 100 people they want to speak to who are believed to have been involved in transporting the Buk missile launcher or its use.