Dutch prosecutors seek life sentences for four suspects in MH17 downing
All four suspects responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Russian-occupied Donbas in 2014 should face life in prison, Dutch prosecutors declared in court at the end of a three-day-long court session in The Hague on Dec. 22.
Suspects Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko, accused of being responsible for the launch of a Buk surface-to-air missile (SAM) that hit the plane while it was flying over eastern Ukraine, refused to appear in court and are being tried in absentia. All four were charged by Dutch prosecutors in early 2020.
A Russian Buk missile brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Russian-occupied Donbas on July 17, 2014, investigators have established.
A total of 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed as a result. Nearly 200 of the passengers were Dutch citizens.
International investigators believe that the Buk missile was launched from a field near the village of Pervomayskiy in Russian-occupied Donbas. There is also evidence that the missile system was originally brought to Ukraine from Russia, ostensibly to be used against Ukrainian air force planes.
A final verdict on the MH17 downing case is expected in September of next year at the earliest.
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