MH17 trial: hearing on the merits begins today

MH17 trial: hearing on the merits begins today

The hearing on the merits will begin in the MH17 criminal proceedings on Monday, June 7.

The court hearing is to start at 10:00 local time, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

According to the previous schedule, the block of hearings will take place from June 7, 2021, to June 25, 2021. Among the key issues to be discussed are the weapons used to shoot down the MH17 flight, the location of the rocket launch, and the role of the four defendants.

On June 19, 2019, the JIT 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 (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic"; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called "Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People’s Republic"; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic.

The interests of Pulatov, who expressed a desire to join the trial, are represented by lawyers for the Dutch law firm Sjöcrona Van Stigt.

In March 2020, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of case over downing of Flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over occupied area of Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The international Joint Investigation Team reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.


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