MH17 trial: Lawyers of suspect want to hear alternative versions of crash

MH17 trial: Lawyers of suspect want to hear alternative versions of crash

Ukrinform
The seventh court hearing in the MH17 trial began with the speeches of Dutch lawyers representing one of the four suspects, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Oleg Pulatov.

As an Ukrinform own correspondent in The Hague reports, the first speaker was lawyer Boudewijn van Eijck from the Sjöcrona Van Stigt law firm.

He questioned the results of the investigation. "Is this file reliable enough to make a decision?" the lawyer asked the court.

He also stressed that the investigation took a lot of effort and time, which cannot help but cause admiration, but expressed doubts about the proof of criminal guilt.

"However, the number of studies does not guarantee success. There were many obstacles. In particular, no studies were conducted at the crash site. Experts could not work there for almost four months. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that some evidence was lost or fabricated," the lawyer said.

According to him, the international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) at its press conferences did not pay enough attention to other possible versions of the tragedy, except the one that MH17 was downed by a Buk missile.

"The prosecutor's office always wanted to follow this scenario. They showed nothing more to the media. They didn't turn to witnesses who might want to tell about other scenarios. The defense wants to hear many more witnesses," said lawyer Boudewijn van Eijck.

He also noted that the defense wanted more attention to be paid to the so-called "military aircraft scenario."

After a 15-minute break, Dutch lawyer Sabine Ten Doesschate took the floor. The defense believes that the "military aircraft scenario" was rejected too quickly, and showed Russia Today’s news story in the courtroom. People, who call themselves witnesses and experts, claim in the news story that they saw a military plane.

"We want to hear all these witnesses, as well as the journalists who filmed them," the defense noted.

As reported, the seventh court hearing in the MH17 trial started at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in the Netherlands on June 22 at 10:00 local time.

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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