Investigators expected to reveal details of MH17 plane crash

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By Patrick Smith  with NBC News World News
The wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 remains scattered near the village of Rassipnoe, Ukraine, on Oct. 15, 2014.   -   Copyright  Dominique Faget

Relatives of the 298 people who were killed when the MH17 Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014 will learn more details of the crash on Wednesday as the international team investigating the incident releases new evidence.

This will be the latest result of a criminal investigation that in 2016 revealedthe plane was shot down by a Russian-made Cold War rocket launcher from an area of Ukraine then controlled by Russian forces.

A press conference was planned for 1 p.m. (7a.m. ET) in the Netherlands, where the investigation has been based — 196 Dutch nationals were on board the flight, which took off from Amsterdam bound for Kuala Lumpur.

The Dutch national police have said that the "purpose of the criminal investigation is to find the truth, to establish the facts, to identify those responsible for the crash and to collect criminal evidence for a prosecution."

The investigations team includes experts from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Russia has previously been critical of the investigators' decision not to involve Moscow in the inquiry and has dismissed its findings as "biased and politically motivated."

A private briefing will first take place Wednesday for the relatives of those killed, before the evidence is presented to the media.

International law experts have expressed doubt over whether those responsible for the attack will ever be brought to justice.