Four to be indicted for downing of Malaysian jet

An international investigation team says three Russians and one Ukrainian will be indicted on murder charges in the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane in 2014.

The plane travelling from the Netherlands was shot down in eastern Ukraine, an area controlled by pro-Russia groups. All of the 298 people on board perished.

A joint investigation team of people from the Netherlands, Ukraine and three other countries announced charges against the suspects, including a former Russian colonel. They were allegedly involved in deployment of a Russian-made missile system.

The team disclosed intercepted communications via telephone and social networking services.

A leading prosecutor from the Netherlands said even though they did not press the button, investigators suspect them of being closely involved in the missile deployment.

The team disclosed the suspects have been put on an international wanted list.

The team aims to have a trial begin in March next year, and asked Russia for cooperation, including extradition of the suspects.

Russia denies any involvement. The country's Foreign Ministry issued a statement that calls the announcement utterly regrettable. The ministry says the investigators made unfounded accusations intended to discredit Russia. It also says the country will continue assisting the investigation so the truth about the crash is established and the real culprits are duly punished.