13:10 06.09.2021

Dutch court resumes hearings in case of downed MH17: victims' relatives to appeal to court

3 min read
Dutch court resumes hearings in case of downed MH17: victims' relatives to appeal to court

In the Netherlands, the trial in the case of the downed flight MH17 has been resumed - the floor will be given to the relatives and friends of the victims, who intend to tell the court about their grief and the consequences of the disaster.

In the Netherlands, this process has already been called historical and unprecedented - for the first time in the history of the country's legal proceedings, more than 90 relatives of the victims will go to court. This will be the most emotional moment in the hearings.

They will speak in court for three weeks with short breaks. It is expected that not only representatives of the Netherlands, but also Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Indonesia will go to court. For those who intend to physically be present in the court complex, a special room has been equipped in Schiphol, those who cannot, for various reasons, attend the hearings, will speak via video link, or provide a video recording. Given that most speakers will speak Dutch, the court will provide translation from German and English.

Earlier, lawyer of the relatives of the victims Peter Langstraat suggested that if each of the relatives, wishing to speak, speaks for 15-20 minutes, plus it will take time to take a seat in the hall and additional time for possible emotional moments, then 25-30 minutes should be reserved for each. "This [speech by relatives] will be difficult not only for the speakers, but also for those present. Taking everything into account, it looks like ten people can speak per day," he said.

As reported, on March 9, at the Schiphol court complex near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, a trial began over four accused of the tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. There were to be three Russian citizens and one Ukrainian on the dock: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko. Only one of them, Pulatov, is represented by lawyers from a Dutch firm, assisted by Russian lawyer Kutina. The trial took place in the absence of the accused.

As reported, on July 17, 2014, the MH17 flight was shot down over Donbas, killing all 298 people on board. Two-thirds of passengers are citizens of the Netherlands. Citizens of Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Belgium, the United States, Germany, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand were also onboard. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which includes law enforcement from Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Malaysia, is probing the incident.

In September 2016, the Joint Investigation Group released its findings, according to which the airliner was shot down by a missile launched from a Buk air defense system, and a year ago it announced that the Buk belonged to the Russian 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade stationed in Kursk.

The JIT named Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko as suspects in the MH17 crash on May 19, 2019. All of them were put on the international wanted list. They are charged with the murder of 298 passengers onboard and its crash.

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