THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Dutch prosecutors have said for the first time that they have found possible parts of a BUK missile system at the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down last year, killing all 298 people on board.
In a joint statement with the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) on Tuesday, prosecutors said the parts "are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17."
They are examining several parts of the possible BUK missile system that could be linked to the downing of the plane, and they will enlist the help of international experts to establish if there is a connection.
Prosecutors have previously said they are treating a missile strike as the most likely scenario for the downing of Flight MH17, which crashed over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in July 2014 while en route from Amsterdam to Malaysia, but Tuesday's announcement was the first time they had described possible physical evidence of a missile.
However, they cautioned that the conclusion cannot yet be drawn "that there is a causal connection between the discovered parts and the crash of flight MH17," the statement said.