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New In-depth MH17 Evidence Study Underway

FILE - The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen near the settlement of Grabovo in Ukraine's Donetsk region, July 17, 2014.

A team of international investigators is meeting in the Netherlands to examine evidence from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine last year, Dutch prosecutors said Tuesday.

The three-week meeting of investigators, including some from the Netherlands and Ukraine, brings together experts in ballistics, weapons systems, explosives and other fields related to the probe to conduct “an in-depth study of the available evidence,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The meeting should “lead to a significant step forward in the criminal investigation and towards legal and convincing evidence in particular,” the statement said.

The Dutch Safety Board last month concluded that the Boeing 777 was hit on July 17, 2014, by a Russian-made Buk missile, causing the plane to explode in midair. All 298 people on board, two-thirds of them Dutch, were killed. Russia has disputed that a Buk may have been used.

Pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces were engulfed in fighting each other in eastern Ukraine when the plane crashed. Western experts and governments, including Ukraine officials, immediately blamed the rebels.

The Netherlands has proposed establishing an international tribunal to prosecute the perpetrators, but no suspects have been named so far.