Ukraine hands over MH17 case to Netherlands

Ukraine has completed the transfer of the criminal case against the persons suspected in the crash of MH17 flight to the Netherlands, reports Ukrainski Noviny news agency with reference to the Security Service of Ukraine. The materials of the case mention three citizens of Russia and one citizen of Ukraine, including former Defense Minister of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Girkin (Strelkov).

Security Service of Ukraine refused to specify, whether the order for the arrest of suspects was issued and if the measure of restraint is chosen. It is estimated that the trial will start on March 2020.

International Investigation Agency officially named the suspects of the airplane crash in June. Besides Girkin suspects are Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and the citizen of Ukraine Leonid Kharchenko. According to investigators, they shot down the liner by the anti-aircraft missile system delivered from Russia.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 over separatist-held territory of the Donetsk region. All 298 people on board were killed. Passengers of the flight included citizens of 10 countries. The majority of the victims (196 people) were citizens of the Netherlands.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT)—which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine—has carried out criminal investigation of the tragedy. The countries participating in the investigation have agreed not to create a separate tribunal, and decided that those responsible would be brought before the Dutch court.

On May 24, 2018, the JIT presented additional evidence of Russia’s crucial role in the tragic air disaster. The JIT concluded that the Buk ground-to-air missile system that shot down the passenger airplane was in service of the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

On May 25, the Dutch government took steps to hold Russia accountable for the crash of flight MH17, a process which will be managed separately from prosecuting the perpetrators.

Australia stated it will seek payment of compensation from Russia to the families of the MH17 crash victims.

(C) UAWIRE 2019

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