Dutch prosecutors demand life imprisonment for four suspects in MH17 case

Source : 112 Ukraine

Prosecutors noted that the crimes committed by the suspects are among the most serious in Dutch criminal law, which is why they should receive a life sentence
15:33, 22 December 2021

The Dutch prosecutor's office in court today announced a request for a verdict, which demands life imprisonment for four suspects (Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, and Leonid Kharchenko) in the case of the shooting down of flight MH17 as journalist of De Telegraaf Saskia Belleman reported on Twitter.

"In this criminal case, there are no obstacles to the appointment of life imprisonment," - the journalist reports the words of the prosecutor Ridderbeks.

It is noted that prosecutors during the court hearing said that it does not matter whether the suspects knew that they were aiming at a civilian plane, since they wanted to shoot down the plane, and they succeeded. That is why they are responsible for the death of 298 people.

Public prosecutor Thijs Berger noted that the crimes committed by the suspects are among the most serious in Dutch criminal law, which is why they should receive a life sentence.

Related: MH17 indictment: Aircraft damage shows that it was downed by Buk missile launcher

During the court session, the question arose whether all four suspects should be given the same punishment since two of them (Kharchenko and Pulatov) were subordinates. However, according to the decision of the prosecutors, there is no difference in the guilt of all the suspects.

The journalist added that the Prosecutor's Office is outraged by the denial by Girkin, Dubinsky, and Kharchenko of their responsibility for the crime. They are silent, which also affects the verdict. Girkin, for example, speaks disparagingly of the Hague court and international tribunals and calls the court "an imitation process."

The only suspect involved in the trial is Oleg Pulatov. He is represented by a lawyer and even expressed his condolences to the families of the victims in a video message.

It is noted that the court's verdict will take some time. First, from March 7, the defense of Oleg Pulatov will appear. At the same time, 12 days of the trial will be appointed to continue the criminal case.

Related: MH17 flight victims can move forward with terror lawsuit against Russian banks

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down in the skies over Donbas on July 17, 2014. There were 298 people on board - 283 passengers and 15 crew members. They all died. This disaster, in terms of the number of deaths, became the largest in the history of civilian aviation since September 11, 2001. At that time, the area where the plane crashed was controlled by pro-Russian militants.

On October 13, 2015, the Dutch Security Council released a report on the causes of this disaster. It was established that the plane was shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system.

In the summer of 2018, the Dutch government withdrew responsibility for the MH17 disaster from Ukraine.

The prosecutor in court hearings in the MH17 case stated that three Russian citizens - Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov - and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko are accused of playing a leading organizational and supporting role in the deployment of the Buk air defense missile system, from which was shot down by a Malaysian plane.

Related: MH17 case: JIT turns to Russian military for more info on circumstances of plane downing

Judge Hendrik Steinhaus, who presides over the MH17 disaster trial, predicts verdict will be handed down at the end of 2022.

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