“I welcome the start of the criminal trial for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. This trial is an important milestone in the efforts to ensure justice for the 298 victims and their families,” reads the statement of Stoltenberg posted on the NATO website.
He also welcomed the commitment of the Joint Investigation Team to establish the facts of the case and I have full confidence in the independence and professionalism of the Dutch legal system.
“It remains essential to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of flight MH17, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166. All countries have a responsibility to fully cooperate with these efforts,” NATO Secretary General underscored.
As reported, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia and Australia formally notified the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN Security Council of the start of the MH17criminal trial in the Netherlands on March 9.
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.”
Oleg Pulatov expressed a desire to join the legal proceedings and will be represented in court by a Dutch law firm.
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.
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