This week, Dutch court proceedings into downing Boeing MH17 in July 2014 in Donbas started. In the press center of the Judicial Complex Schiphol, Judicial Spokespeople Marije Knijff and Paul Rouwen took stock of the second day of the MH17 trial. It was reported on the website of Schiphol Judicial Complex.
"The prosecution presented various requests, on which the court must now rule. A number of the requests concerned additional investigative steps, for example inspection of the reconstruction of the airplane. The prosecution requested that the investigating judges question additional witnesses and investigate the possible manipulation of images by the Russian Federation. Furthermore, a number of other requests were put to the court for its decision, notably with regard
to the next steps in the proceedings," the message says.
It was also reported that the hearing would resume on 23 March 2020, the first day in the second week set aside for these proceedings. The court will announceits decisions. On that day, the court will also consider whether, and if so, on which days, the court will sit that week.
Earlier, it was reported that MH17 trial began in Amsterdam despite suspects' absence. The trial began with three of the suspects — two Russians and a Ukrainian — being tried "in absentia," while another Russian suspect would be represented by a lawyer, chief judge Hendrik Steenhuis said.
It has been almost six years since 298 people died when the Malaysia Airlines MH17 was downed over Ukraine. After the disaster, the five countries that were most affected by it — Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Ukraine — formed the so-called Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
The investigators concluded that the Boeing 777 was hit by an anti-aircraft missile of the Soviet-era "BUK" type. This missile was allegedly launched from the part of Donbass that is controlled by pro-Russian separatists. The BUK missile system had been transported there from Russia and was taken back over the border shortly afterward, according to the JIT investigators.
These findings, the JIT says, are based on accounts by eyewitnesses who say they saw the launch of the missile, on remnants of the plane and the BUK missile that were found, on satellite images and radar data, and on photos and videos showing the transport of the Russian missile system to the site in Donbass where it was used. There are also recordings of telephone calls between suspects, some of which have been made public by the JIT. Ahead of the start of the trial, the Dutch chief investigator, Fred Westerbeke, voiced his conviction that Russia's involvement in the tragedy is proven.