January 25, 2022

At MH17 trial, the prosecutor requests life imprisonment against the four accused

In delivering his indictment on Thursday, December 22, the prosecutor explains that he will not go back over the terrifying details of the repatriation of the dislocated bodies of the 298 passengers of flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine on July 17, 2014. “How can you tell a 15-year-old boy that his mother is never coming back? “, asks Thijs Berger, however. “The consequences of this crime are enormous”, sues the prosecutor to the judges of the Schiphol court, which sits near Amsterdam airport where, that day in the summer of 2014, the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight of Malaysia Airlines took off. The prosecutor detailed at length the tragic repercussions of the crime of which the Russians Sergei Dubinsky, Igor Guirkin and Oleg Poulatov are accused, as well as the Ukrainian Leonid Khartchenko.

On the relatives of the 298 victims, first, of whom “Life will never be the same again”. On the inhabitants of Pervomaisky and the surrounding area, who saw the bodies fall in the sky of Donbass, this region of eastern Ukraine under fire from fighting between, since April 2014, pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces. Finally, on international relations and the tensions between Westerners and Russians, revived by the tragedy.

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Unsurprisingly, the public prosecutor requested life imprisonment against the four men, tried in absentia since March 2020. “Even if they did not press the button themselves, they are responsible for the fall of MH17”, said prosecutor Thijs Berger. Even though the defendants were not targeting a commercial aircraft and its 298 passengers. Even if it is a question of“Negligence”. This is the thesis of ” the mistake “ retained by the prosecution, after seven years of investigations conducted by investigators from five of the nations bereaved by the tragedy (Malaysia, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia).

Hit harder and higher

On July 17, 2014, Sergei Dubinsky, Igor Guirkin, Oleg Poulatov and Leonid Khartchenko did not intend to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 – ” the Chinese “, as they will refer to in their intercepted telephone communications – nor to kill the 298 civilians on board. Corn “Together they asked for the BUK [le système de missile sol-air, l’arme du crime] to the Russian Federation and deployed it for the purpose of shooting down a plane ”. They used it for “To serve their own military interests”. Legally, “A target error does not make the difference, asserts the prosecutor. It does not matter whether the accused intended to shoot down a military or civilian aircraft, they are criminally responsible. “

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