MH17 trial: Dutch prosecutors point to indisputable evidence

MH17 trial: Dutch prosecutors point to indisputable evidence

During a court hearing in the MH17 trial, Dutch prosecutors stressed that there was enough evidence of the defendants’ involvement in downing a passenger plane in July 2014.

"There is a lot of evidence in the case, including photos, videos, satellite images, recordings of intercepted conversations and convincing forensic data. That's enough to deliver a guilty verdict," said prosecutor Thijs Berger, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

He reminded those present that MH17 Flight had been downed in the east of Ukraine seven years, nine months, and twenty-nine days ago. According to him, four defendants are guilty of this tragedy: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former Russia's FSB colonel and former so-called defense minister of the "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; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces; Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko who fought on the side of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic. They are considered to be involved in the transportation and combat use of a Buk missile system.

The prosecution also demonstrated in court the fragments of intercepted conversations between Pulatov, Dubinskiy, and Kharchenko, which confirm their involvement.

Dutch prosecutor Manon Ridderbeks reiterated that no evidence had been found to suggest that weapons other than Buk had been used to shoot down the plane. According to her, this is confirmed by many pieces of evidence, including the results of the examination of the found fragments and elements.

Arlette Schijns, a lawyer representing families of victims, said that the maximum amount of compensation should be 40,000-45,000-50,000 euros, depending on the degree of kinship. However, according to her, no amount will be able to compensate for the loss of loved ones.

The next court hearing will take place tomorrow at 10:00 local time.

The 13th block of court hearings will take place from May 16 to 18 and from June 8 to 10, 2022.

As reported, 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.

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

Photo credit: Iryna Drabok


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