Volodymyr Tsemakh suspected of involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 attends a court hearing in Kiev. Picture: Reuters/Serhii Nuzhnenko

The Hague, Netherlands - Dutch prosecutors have accused Russia of deliberately allowing a suspect in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to leave the country in a breach of a European extradition treaty.

Prosecutors announced Monday that Volodymyr Tsemakh is considered a suspect in the shooting down of the passenger plane and deaths of all 298 passengers and crew. He has not been charged with any offenses.

Tsemakh, a Ukrainian who was questioned by investigators probing the downing of the flight known as MH17 while in custody in Ukraine, was handed to Russia as part of a prisoner swap in September.

Dutch prosecutors say they asked Russia to arrest Tsemakh so he could be extradited. However, he is now believed to have returned to eastern Ukraine.

Prosecutors say Russia “willingly allowed Mr. Tsemakh to leave” the country.

AP