"The Netherlands Public Prosecution Service considers it very important that all the parties are given sufficient attention during the trial, so we hope that on March 9, 2020, all suspects, or possibly their lawyers, will be present," the spokesperson of the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service said in a commentary to an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague.
As a source told Ukrinform, lieutenant colonel Oleg Pulatov expressed a desire to join the legal proceedings and will be represented in court by a Dutch law firm.
At the same time, the lawyer of one of the defendants, Olena Kutyina, told Russian TASS news agency that Pulatov would be defended by two Dutch lawyers and one Russian lawyer.
As reported, the District Court of The Hague confirmed last week that at least one of the suspects in the MH17 case expressed a desire to join the legal proceedings and wanted to be represented in court by a Dutch law firm. The Court did not disclose who had expressed a desire to join the MH17 trial. Neither the Court informed what law firm would represent the suspect.
As reported, the trial of suspects in downing MH17 flight will start on March 9, 2020.
On June 19, 2019, the international Joint Investigation Team named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin, retired officer of the Russian Armed Forces, and former colonel of Russia’s Federal Security Service; Sergey Dubinskiy, colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Russian Airborne Forces Reserve. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.” The four men were put on the international wanted list. Their presence in the courtroom is unlikely. However, this will not hinder the legal proceedings.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over conflict-hit Donbas in July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The JIT reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.