Final MH17 report due October 13: Dutch investigators

A picture taken on July 20, 2014 shows a piece of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in a field near the village of Grabove in the Donetsk region (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

The Hague (AFP) - The final report into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over war-torn eastern Ukraine last year will be released in October 13, Dutch investigators said on Thursday.

"The Dutch Safety Board (OVV) informed relatives and the accredited representatives to the investigation that the board will publish the final report on the investigation into flight MH17 on 13 October 2015," the board said in a statement.

"Prior to the official publication of the report, the relatives will be informed about the conclusions of the investigation during a closed information meeting," the OVV added.

The passenger jet was shot down over Ukraine on July 17 last year, during heavy fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists. All 298 people onboard -- mainly Dutch -- were killed.

The Netherlands has been leading teams of international investigators to retrieve body parts, probe the cause of the incident and eventually prosecute those responsible.

The OVV is charged with looking into the exact cause of the crash but will not identify those responsible.

Ukraine and many in the West have accused the rebels of blowing the Boeing 777 out of the sky, saying they may have used a BUK missile supplied by Russia.

Moscow and the rebels deny any responsibility and point the finger at Ukraine's military.

A preliminary Dutch report released last September said the plane had been hit by numerous "high-energy objects".

Dutch prosecutors leading the criminal probe, assisted by experts from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and the Ukraine, earlier this month announced they have found fragments "probably" from a Russian-made surface-to-air missile at the crash site.