JIT names four suspects in downing MH17

JIT names four suspects in downing MH17

The international Joint Investigation Team probing the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 unveiled the names of four suspects involved in the crash.

As an Ukrinform correspondent reports from Nieuwegein, these names were first announced to the relatives of the victims, who shared information with journalists before the official meeting began.

In particular, these four persons are: Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian who fought on the side of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”; Sergei Dubinsky, a colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, head of the “Main Intelligence Department of the Donetsk People’s Republic”, he is considered to be the organizer of the launcher’s combat use; Oleg Pulatov, a lieutenant colonel of the Russian Airborne Forces reserve, involved in transportation of Buk missile launcher and responsible for protection of the area with the wreckage of the downed aircraft; Igor Girkin, a retired officer of the Russian Armed Forces, a former FSB colonel, an active participant in the Russian armed aggression in Ukraine.

JIT’s official meeting will start at 14:00 Kyiv time. It will be streamed live in Dutch and English. The Netherlands will be represented by Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke and Dutch police officer Wilbert Paulissen, head of the National Crime Squad. Ukraine will be represented by Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko and his first deputy, Dmytro Storozhuk.

The international Joint Investigation Team consists of the members of police and judicial authorities of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Donbas in July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers on board the plane. All of them died.

In September 2016, the JIT said it had been established on the basis of irrefutable evidence that the plane had been shot down by a 9M38 Buk missile launched from the territory controlled by pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of Ukraine. In addition, the JIT said on May 24 that the Buk missile system from which the aircraft was downed belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

In May 2018, the Netherlands and Australia officially stated that they hold the Russian state legally responsible for the downing of MH17.


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