July 16, 2015 / 11:17 PM / in 2 years

Britain calls for international tribunal in downing of MH17 victims

LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Friday backed calls for an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of shooting a Malaysian airline out of the sky over rebel-held eastern Ukraine a year ago.

His call comes as commemorations are held in the Netherlands and Ukraine on Friday to mark the anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing 298 passengers and crew.

Western governments believe the rebels shot down the plane at cruising altitude with a Russian-supplied BUK missile system, a version based on radio intercepts, photographic and video evidence, witness statements and satellite imagery. Russia denies involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

Dutch authorities have said they are not yet ready to identify culprits, but have called for a U.N. tribunal.

A report on the cause of the crash from the Dutch Safety Board, a preliminary copy of which has been circulated to half a dozen government with nationals onboard, is due in October.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Larry King

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