Seventh court hearing in MH17 trial begins in Netherlands

Seventh court hearing in MH17 trial begins in Netherlands

The seventh court hearing in the MH17 trial has started at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in the Netherlands at 10:00 local time, according to an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague.

Judges, prosecutors, lawyers, relatives of the victims, and journalists are present in the courtroom. Everyone observes mandatory social distancing rules due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawyers of one of the four suspects, Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, who expressed a desire to participate in the trial, are speaking now. His interests are represented by lawyers Sabine Ten Doesschate and Boudewijn van Eijck from the Sjöcrona Van Stigt law firm.

As reported, the defense will be able to respond to all the evidence presented by Dutch prosecutors at previous hearings.

On June 8, 2020, the second block of court hearings in the MH17 trial began. Prosecutors revealed details of the investigation in the courtroom. In particular, it was noted that there is a witness who saw the Buk missile system and the launch of a missile. The prosecutors also told about studying the operation of Buk missiles, in particular, two types of missiles were tested - 9M38 and 9M28-M1. Intercepted telephone conversations, in which the militants could be identified, were also heard in the courtroom.

The hearing was adjourned for a week, until June 22, 2020, to give the defense time to prepare.

The number of people present in the courtroom is limited due to the coronavirus quarantine restrictions. The livestream of the hearing is available in Dutch and English.

In March this year, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case of the downing of flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.

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 (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."

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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