More than two weeks needed before verdict in MH17 case can be delivered – presiding judge
Judge Hendrik Steenhuis who is presiding over the trial of four accused of involvement in the MH17 tragedy, has said it will likely take more than 14 days to rule on the four people indicted in the MH17 tragedy.
The judge said this on Monday during the first court hearing.
"A court decision is usually announced 14 days after the hearing. In this case, it will take more time," Steenhuis said.
The presiding judge reported on the sequence in which certain actions will take place in court, after which he analyzed whether the suspects were duly informed. They include three citizens of Russia and one Ukrainian: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko.
Steenhuis said none of the suspects appeared in court. He then asked two lawyers whether they fully represent the interests of Oleg Pulatov, to which he received an affirmative answer. Having reported all the details of how the charges were brought to the suspects, the judge concluded that the summons was delivered properly and on time.
While "there was no indication that Girkin and Kharchenko had received subpoenas, Dubinsky knew that he should appear in court. The court does not doubt that they all know about this court. Despite the fact that they knew, they refrained from being present," the judge said.
He then gave the floor to the prosecution. Prosecutors said that the four were involved in organizing the delivery of deadly weapons.
"They organized the delivery of the deadly weapon – BUK missile was transported to Ukraine and delivered to the place where the rocket was launched and MH17 was shot down. The suspects are also involved in the return of missile launcher," prosecutors said, explaining that this is why they are accused of the death of everyone who was on board MH17. The representative of the prosecutor's office read out the names of the victims.
The Boeing-777 of Malaysia Airlines, operating the MH17 flight from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), was shot down in the sky over the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board died. Two thirds of passengers are nationals of the Netherlands.