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Families of MH17 victims left 'confused' by gov't stance on probe findings

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The families of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have been left confused by remarks from government officials, which purportedly contradict the findings of the joint investigation team (JIT) that probed the 2014 incident. 

"On June 19, the JIT announced that four suspects will be prosecuted for the downing of MH17.

"Since the said announcement, representatives of the Malaysian government have made several remarks which run contrary to the findings made by the JIT.

"These statements have added confusion and caused anguish to some of the next-of-kin," the families of 31 MH17 victims said in a statement today.

The statement does not specify the remarks which left them confused, however.

Last month, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Russia was being made a scapegoat for the downing the aircraft.

"We are unhappy because, from the very beginning, it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of wrongdoing.

"Even before they examined, they already said Russia. Now they say they have proof so it is very difficult for us to accept that," he said, one day after the JIT announced their findings.

The Dutch-led JIT had found that MH17, which was carrying 238 passengers and 15 crew members, was brought down by a Russian missile when it was flying over eastern Ukraine.

The families' statement also noted that the local representative in the JIT, former solicitor general 3 Mohamed Hanafiah Zakaria, had previously indicated that Malaysia supported the team's findings.

"To our knowledge, the JIT is the only body that has been working tirelessly for the last five years to uncover the truth behind the MH17 incident and to hold accountable those responsible for the tragedy.

"In this regard, in the absence of any other investigation or finding, we would like to express our full support to the JIT and the findings which have since been presented. 

"We would also like to place on record our sincere gratitude and appreciation for their effort thus far," the statement read.

The families also called on authorities to brief them on any plans of action to be taken in regard to the case.

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