A day after the MH17 plane crash inquiry team announced murder charges against four men, Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad has condemned the decision as “ridiculous”.
The three Russians and a Ukrainian are accused of bringing a missile into eastern Ukraine which shot the Malaysian Airlines plane down.
All 298 people on board were killed.
“From the very beginning it became a political issue on how to accuse Russia of wrongdoing,” Mr Mahathir said.
Russia has also condemned the accusations as “groundless”.
However, Malaysia is itself part of the Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT), which has been working on the criminal inquiry for years.
The three Russians charged were all closely connected to Russian intelligence services, prosecutors said, and all four were involved in the conflict with the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine at the time the plane was shot down on July 17, 2014.
A trial will open in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020, even if the suspects are not present.