January 24, 2022

Dutch prosecutors call for life imprisonment against suspects

On July 17, 2014, 298 people were killed in the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

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What judicial outcome will the case of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have? On Wednesday December 22, Dutch prosecutors demanded life imprisonment against the four men prosecuted for the crash that occurred in 2014, accusing them of the murder of the 298 people on board. The Russians Sergei Dubinsky, Igor Guirkin and Oleg Poulatov, as well as the Ukrainian Leonid Khartchenko, four senior officers of the pro-Russian separatists from eastern Ukraine, are accused of having shot down an MH17 flight with a missile.

Prosecutors said the four suspects played a central role in delivering a BUK anti-aircraft battery, presumably intended to strike a Ukrainian warplane. “If that was their intention, it does not change the accusation of making it a criminal act”, underlined the prosecutors. Dutch law “does not distinguish between military and civilian aircraft. Any violence against aviation must be severely punished”, they stressed.

The hearings come against a backdrop of growing Russian-Western tensions around Ukraine. Americans and Europeans accuse Moscow of preparing a military offensive there. Kiev has been fighting a pro-Moscow insurgency in two breakaway regions bordering Russia since 2014, when the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

An international team of investigators says the plane was shot down over the area of ​​armed conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine by a missile brought from a Russian military base, probably in order to fight against the Ukrainian forces. Moscow has always denied any involvement. The verdict of the Schiphol court, near Amsterdam and located a stone’s throw from the airport from where the tragically fated Boeing took off, is not expected before the end of 2022.

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