Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source: Russian cooperators in MH17 investigation denied asylum in Netherlands

Saturday, July 24, 2021 - 12:10

Russian cooperators in MH17 investigation denied asylum in Netherlands


A Russian couple who requested asylum in the Netherlands because of their inside knowledge about the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was rejected by Dutch immigration office IND. They are currently living illegally in the Netherlands and face deportation to Russia. The couple fled their home country in 2016 after they began to be harassed by men they believed were working for Russian security service FSB, according to the Volkskrant (in Dutch).

Some 298 people lost their lives on July 14, 2014 when MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine by a Russian buk missile. International investigators have said the Russian military and Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine perpetrated the attack, while Russia has pointed the finger at the Ukrainian military. Russia rebuffed attempts to cooperate in the international investigation claiming the process to be biased.

The woman seeking asylum was visiting her husband’s office soon after the downing, and overheard the company director on a phone call. During the call, he spoke loudly with someone he identified as a family member in Eastern Ukraine who said they shot down the plane with a buk missile. It was later alleged that the company was a front either in whole or in part for Russian presence in the occupied territory.

The couple kept quiet about their knowledge of the attack on the passenger jet, until a dispute over money between her boyfriend and the company director. He then revealed what he knew in an effort to collect money owed to him by the company director.

The couple then became the subject of a harassment campaign, that led them to flee Russia for the Netherlands. They requested asylum saying they were being targeted by the FSB but without mentioning what they knew about MH17.

In 2018, the Joint Investigation Team revealed comprehensive conclusions about their case into MH17 during a presentation at an air base in front of the reconstructed wreckage of the Boeing 777. During that presentation, they released an appeal in multiple languages asking witnesses to come forward.

That’s when the couple approached investigators in the Netherlands. They were interviewed officially, and told not to disclose information to anybody else, including other government bodies. Soon after, a family member of the woman was severely beaten in Russia and wound up in a coma.

She was not made an official witness in the case because her information was not considered valuable enough to counter-balance the risk she faced by being identified as a witness. It would have required an entire change to the identities of her and her boyfriend.

Prosecutor Joris Beliën told the Volkskrant he had no doubt that her story was accurate and truthful.

However, IND disagreed, and a court sided with immigration authorities. The immigration service said the couple was not credible because they did not immediately share their information about MH17 with authorities in 2016. They also did not disclose their involvement with the investigation to IND after they spoke with investigators, though the couple said this was to comply with the investigators’ requests.

IND also does not believe that the couple demonstrated they have been a target of the FSB.

A former employee of Dutch intelligence service AIVD said the evaluation of the situation by IND and the court system was naive, and possibly ignorant. The expert said they would potentially be in danger if deported to Russia, and there was a "real chance that something could also happen to the couple in the Netherlands".

IND, the Dutch prosecution service, and a representative of the court system would not comment to the newspaper about the case.

Coverage in Dutch:
'Russisch stel dat informatie gaf over MH17 moet terug naar Rusland'
Gevlucht stel dat justitie informatie gaf over MH17 moet terug naar Rusland
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
A sudden flurry of activities on the MH17 front.

John Helmer penned an article (Tue, 20 Jul 2021 00:00 UTC) with a broad overview of background info on international shenanigans in mid-2014 meant to lead up to an invasion of the Ukraine/Donbass region with the Netherlands as one of the possible participants. The article was apparently triggered by an appearance last week of Saakashvili on Channel 24 in Kiev. It's on SOTT now:

The Dutch invasion plan of Donbass before the downing of MH17 on July 17, 2014 -- Sott.net

One snippet:
[...]
Last week Saakashvili returned to Channel 24 in Kiev to reveal he had discussed details of a direct US intervention in eastern Ukraine in mid-2014. " 'I remember there was a moment when they could have taken Donetsk. I'm not saying this on my own — General Petraeus...sent me a long text message then, I was in upstate New York, on some holiday. He says: 'A, B, C, D, D' - it is written on the points why now is a good time to enter Donetsk,' Saakashvili said. According to him, Petraeus insisted on the need to capture Donetsk, justifying this by the fact that the security forces could cope on their own. Saakashvili noted that he sent the plan of the American general to Petro Poroshenko, but he did not react. 'Well, I understand that at least call back, get interested, invite this person, listen to his opinion. I would do this at least,' he continued. According to Saakashvili, he called Poroshenko and tried to discuss with him the proposal of the American general, but the Ukrainian president took the topic of conversation in a different direction."

Research by Liane Theuerkauf indicates the timing of Petraeus's plan and his meeting and exchanges on the invasion plan with Saakashvili was in the early days of July 2014, immediately after Slavyansk and Kramatorsk were captured by Poroshenko's army in the Donetsk region. Slavyansk fell on July 5; Kramatorsk the same day. Poroshenko announced his battle to take Donetsk and Lugansk cities on July 6 and again on July 8.

On July 10, 2014, the Poroshenko regime announced it had begun a "total attack" on "several fronts" against Donetsk and Lugansk.
[...]

Meanwhile, rumors are floating around in the Netherlands that current caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte could be envisioned as the new Secretary General of NATO when Jens Stoltenberg resigns next year. Source (Dutch only):

geenstijl.nl/5160345/formatiewatch-rutte-functie-elders-bij-navo/

Finally, a lengthy article about a Russian investigative journalist Roman Dobrochotov, Editor-in-Chief of the investigative journalism platform The Insider which is a partner organization of the international investigative journalism collective Bellingcat. He has been reported for libel/defamation by Max van der Werff of Bonanza Media. Source (Dutch only):

Aangifte tegen Russische journalist 'handig middel' voor Kremlin

NOS News - Foreign Affairs - Today, 14:33
Report against Russian journalist 'convenient tool' for Kremlin

2560x1440a.jpg

Dobrochotov is taken to a police station - Image: AP

Yesterday, Russian police suddenly showed up on the doorstep of investigative journalist Roman Dobrochotov, he reported on Twitter. His house was searched, his parents' house as well and Dobrochotov had to go with them to the station for questioning. An hour later he was released.

It seems yet another attempt by the Kremlin to undermine critical journalists. [Dutch] Media entrepreneur Derk Sauer, active in Russia: "Everyone who reports independently will get their turn."

Dutch blogger

The case is related to a report by the Dutch blogger Max van der Werff. Dobrochotov is the editor-in-chief of the investigative journalism platform The Insider. It is a partner organization of the international investigative journalism collective Bellingcat. Among other things, The Insider has made revelations about the poisoning of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny and about MH17.

<video-clip in Dutch (9:13 min.) omitted)>

One of those revelations was about Van der Werff (in Dutch), who for years has cast doubt on the official reading surrounding the downed flight. Van der Werff made a documentary about MH17 together with Jana Yerlashova, a former journalist for Russia Today, for the English-spoken Bonanza Media.

Officers from Russia's military intelligence service GROe were in regular contact with Yerlashova, Bellingcat and The Insider showed with phone and email data. They also arranged access for Van der Werff and Jerlasjova to pro-Russian rebel territory in eastern Ukraine.

Van der Werff filed charges against Dobrochotov in Russia. Dobrochotov said in a tweet sharing the publication that Van der Werff is paid by the GROe. Defamation, the Dutch blogger believes.


Макс ван дер Верфф @MaxvanderWerff · 28 jul.
I sue Bellingcat's Russian partner Dobrokhtov because he claims I am paid by the GRU. A filthy lie. And deleting his tweet will not help him. https://archive.is/fVtQi

"Van der Werff is a markedly pro-Putin figure," says Sauer. "That's his right, of course, but for the Russians he is now a convenient tool."

FSB van

According to Dobrochotov, the libel case is basically a stick to hit the dog. And indeed it looks a lot like that, says Russia correspondent Geert Groot Koerkamp: "Why would you do a search for a defamation case, and not only at his house, but also at his parents' house?" It happens more often that searches are also carried out at the homes of family members, says Groot Koerkamp: "To increase the pressure on someone."

Officially, Dobrochotov is only a witness, Russian authorities say. But that is not reassuring, says Groot Koerkamp: "That can instantly change to suspect."

Laptops, phones and tablets were confiscated from Dobrochotov. His passport was also taken, which means Dobrochotov cannot leave the country. He was about to travel abroad. Groot Koerkamp: "A van that was involved in the search had a license plate of the FSB, the Russian secret service. So there seems to be more to it."

Last week, The Insider was labeled a "foreign agent". This happens more often to NGOs and media that Russia sees as unwelcome: "The trigger can sometimes be as little as receiving a donation of one euro from abroad." The Insider is registered in Latvia. Similar media outlets are also registered abroad: Meduza in Lithuania and VTimes in the Netherlands.

"First they refuse to register you in Russia, then you necessarily defect to a foreign country, and then they call you a 'foreign agent'"
Media entrepreneur Derk Sauer on journalism in Russia

Derk Sauer, involved with the VTimes: "Ideally they would prefer to be registered in Russia." The government determines whether media are licensed. In practice, this means that only media that follow the Kremlin's line can get a registration. "It's like Kafka. First they refuse to register you in Russia, then you necessarily move to a foreign country, and then they call you a 'foreign agent.'"

The consequence of the 'foreign agent' stamp is that finances are audited four times a year and everything you publish, including tweets, has to mention that you are a foreign agent, says Groot Koerkamp: "Advertisers often don't want to be associated with that. That complicates the work." Meduza and VTimes have also noticed this. Meduza launched a crowdfunding campaign to be able to continue their work, VTimes saw itself forced to stop.

Sauer is concerned about the survival of independent media in Russia. "The Insider is the sixteenth platform that has been declared a foreign or unwanted agent. They're running down a whole list. Meanwhile, you can ask yourself: if you're not a 'foreign agent' yet, are you still a journalist?"

Max van der Werff did not respond to a request from NOS for substantive comment.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): 'Gerechtigheid voor slachtoffers in gevaar’ na ontslag MH17-toponderzoeker

News Hour - Foreign - yesterday, 19:00
'Justice for victims at risk' after MH17 top investigator resigns

Gert-Jan Dennekamp
reporter

In Ukraine, Gyunduz Mamedov, the prosecutor in charge of the MH17 investigation, has resigned. He was sidelined in July and was forced to resign at the end of that month.

According to Mamedov's lawyer, Nasi Najem, Ukraine's international reputation is at stake and the Ukrainian prosecutor's office is "deliberately obstructing the investigation into Russia's crimes."

Ukrainian human rights organizations believe that Mamedov's departure could be the death knell for war crimes investigations in Ukraine. According to lawyer Vitali Titich, the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office is not functioning and a professional like Mamedov is desperately needed. "At the moment, there is not a single person within the Prosecutor's Office who could better hold this position," he said.

'Power struggle'


Human rights organizations say there is a power struggle going on behind the scenes in Kiev. They fear that the highest boss of the Ukrainian prosecutor's office no longer attaches importance to the investigations into war crimes in eastern Ukraine. The investigation into flight MH17 would also no longer be a priority.

"Mamedov is unfortunately the only one who has enough experience and knowledge to lead this kind of investigation," says Nadia Volkova of collective of human rights consultants and lawyers ULAG (Ukrainian Legal Advisory).

Human rights lawyers are not reassured that Prosecutor General Venediktova, the top boss at the Prosecutor's Office in Ukraine, will take over the leadership of the investigation. According to the organizations, Venediktova has no experience in leading investigations. Speaking to Volkova and her colleagues, Venediktova said that she can learn to do that leading the investigation. "But she should have done that twenty years ago, now is not the time for that," Volkova said.

" Chance for justice jeopardized by resignation
NGOs and lawyers in appeal

NGOs and lawyers wrote an appeal to the international community and embassies in Kiev several weeks ago. In it, they warned that with the resignation "any chance of justice for the victims will be jeopardized." They have not received any response to this appeal. Not even from the Netherlands.

The investigation is in a new phase, the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office informs us. "The criminal investigation into the crew of the Buk-TELAR and the chain of command is still ongoing. In this, the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office and the police have regular contact with other JIT partners. Those lines must remain as short as possible."

"In this phase it is important that knowledge and experience are secured in the investigation. With changes of guard at the top, as is the case with the Ukrainian Public Prosecutor's Office and the Ukrainian security service, it is good to confirm this to each other again."

Dismissed in the Netherlands

This week it was also announced that Dutch public prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse will be given a new position. He will still be involved in the MH17 trial.

A year ago - just before the start of the MH17 trial in the Netherlands - it was announced that six prosecutors had been fired in Ukraine under the banner of fighting corruption. They all had to retake exams: some refused, others failed the exam. Result: the whole team was replaced. Under pressure from the Netherlands, a former officer did remain involved with the International Investigation Team (JIT) as an advisor.

Prosecutor General Venediktova says that Mamedov has not yet been able to resign because disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against him.

'Dutch team to Ukraine'


Last month there was a meeting between Dutch Ambassador Jennes de Mol and Attorney General Irina Venediktova. In a press statement, Venediktova wrote that the Netherlands is ready to send a team of prosecutors and investigators to Ukraine to discuss further actions related to MH17. According to the Foreign Ministry, Mamedov's departure was not discussed during this meeting.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Related:
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General discusses MH17 case with Dutch ambassador
Seven years after MH17 crash: Ukraine’s Prosecutor General elaborates on investigation
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source: Investigators call on people in Kursk to share evidence on downing of MH17 - DutchNews.nl

Investigators call on people in Kursk to share evidence on downing of MH17

September 2, 2021

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, have made a public plea to people in the Russian city of Kursk to share any evidence they have.

The BUK missile which hit the plane was launched by the 53rd brigade of the Russian army stationed in Kursk, and troops who were part of that unit are particularly urged to hand over photos, videos and official documents.

The JIT has sent the letter (in Dutch, English and Russian) to a number of addresses and circulated it on Russian social media.

In addition, two videos were made and uploaded to YouTube. One features a veteran saying that it is as important for the relatives of the victims to know what happened to their loved ones as it was for the relatives of Soviet troops killed during World War II.

The second video shows the parents of an Australian victim who are former Soviet Union citizens.

The JIT is continuing to investigate the crash which killed all 298 passengers on board but need more information, head of Dutch national criminal investigations division Andy Kraag told broadcaster NOS (in Dutch).

Four men from Russia and Ukraine are currently on trial in the Netherlands accused of causing the plane to crash and murdering everybody on board. The case file already runs to more than 40,000 pages and over 100 documents.

‘We want to know who was part of the crew that launched the missile, what their brief was and who briefed them. And above all we want to know the reason why they targeted a civilian plane’ he told the broadcaster.

The letter and videos are not related to the trial of four men for their role in the case which will be resumed on Monday.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): 91 nabestaanden MH17 krijgen het woord: 'Dit is uniek en historisch'
(five illustrations omitted)

In the courtroom
91 MH17 survivors get to speak: 'This is unique and historic'

Published 3 hours 58 minutes ago - Updated: 3 hours 57 minutes ago

It will be three emotional weeks in court. 91 surviving relatives of victims of the disaster with flight MH17 make use of their right to speak. Peter van der Meer and Jeanne Hornikx will speak on the first and last day. "This is the last thing I can do for my daughter."

Flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 occupants, including nearly 200 Dutch nationals, were killed.

'Unique and historic'


As of Monday, 91 surviving relatives will share their victim declarations in 15 minutes each; another eight will do so in November. This will be done live in court or via a secure live stream.

"This is a unique and historic event," says Sander de Lang of legal aid team MH17. "Never before in the Dutch criminal justice system have so many people spoken during criminal proceedings."

_______________________________________________________________________
What is the right to speak?

Since 2005, victims have been allowed to tell their story during the hearing of a criminal case. People who are the victim of a crime for which a sentence of eight years' imprisonment or more can be imposed are eligible for this.

In addition, the right to speak applies to a number of offenses listed in the law, such as certain sex offenses and very serious traffic accidents.

Victims were initially only allowed to talk about the impact of the crime on their lives. Since July 1, 2016, a victim statement may address everything: from the evidence to the level of punishment.
________________________________________________________________________


The purpose of that right to speak is to show what the "enormous impact" of the disaster is on the lives of the survivors, De Lang says. "The judges will factor that into the sentencing."

Next of kin are allowed to say what they want. "But we advise against making judgments about the defendants at this stage, because it has not yet been established what exactly happened. That could harm the trial, because then the defendants could take the position that they have been convicted in advance."

Peter van der Meer will be among the first to speak on Monday. He lost all three of his daughters in the disaster. Sophie, Fleur and Bente. 12, 10 and 7 years old. "I want to give them a face."

For many people, the disaster is a long time ago, says Van der Meer. "For me, it's an everyday occurrence." Every morning he gets up with the pain of what has happened. "That starts with the pictures of my daughters," he says. Those are in the "girls' room," among other places, he shows in the video below [not embedded]. "That's kind of a memory room."

Van der Meers' statement will be about those first weeks after the disaster, up to and including now. "In the beginning, you think the pain is getting less. It doesn't. This stays until I die." He can still be dead on his feet after a week of good sleep and he enjoys life less. He wants his statement to show his pain, and what he misses.

'Convincing people to tell the truth'


He doesn't expect judges to be able to do much with that statement. "A judge is independent and professional. I don't think they take it into their judgment. But they are also humans, so they will take something from it. It may be that they take it into the sentencing in some way."

Above all, Van Der Meer hopes the statements will ensure that people who have anything to do with the disaster will be persuaded to tell part of the truth. "Or the whole truth."

___________________________________________________________________________
This is how the next of kin have been prepared for the right to speak

All the surviving relatives were explained how they should prepare a statement, says Sander de Lang of Legal Aid Team MH17.

"In addition, we gave practical tips. Take your time or drink a glass of water if you can't take it anymore. And think about who will take over the statement on your behalf if it really isn't feasible anymore."

The family of Anne Faber [survivors in a different murder case] was also invited to a meeting to tell how they experienced the right to speak.
____________________________________________________________________________


Jeanne Hornikx will also speak, on the final day of session. Hornikx lost her 31-year-old daughter Astrid in the MH17 disaster. On Friday, September 24, at 10:00 a.m., she will talk about the impact of that.

It's exciting, she says. "It feels like this is the last thing we can do for our late daughter Astrid."

Together with her husband she is staying in Zeeland, at a campsite where they often came with Astrid. "Here we look for peace and quiet. This is how we prepare ourselves." What she wants to say, she has on paper. Every now and then she reads it through for a while.

Initially, Jeanne and her husband didn't like the fact that they were only allowed to speak on the last day. "But then we realized that the 24th is also the birthday date of her late friend Bart. We said: they took care of that for us up above."

Jeanne and her husband think it is very important that the judges hear what the air disaster is doing to them. "Everyone should know that. What has been taken from us. Our most precious possession, our daughter. You hear a lot about the trial, but not how it goes with surviving relatives."

Because it goes up and down, she explains. "Sitting in a corner on the couch doesn't solve anything, so you look for a way to move on. There are some nice moments, too. But you always are carrying a backpack."

What they hope to achieve? "That it gets listened to. That it makes an impression. Nobody can solve it, but we would like to let the judges know the impact the disaster has on our lives. Ideally, I'd like to push the perpetrators under their noses about what it has done to us."

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Today, the MH17 trial started off a three week string of ten sessions to facilitate tabling evidence from surviving relatives concerning their personal aftermath following the disaster. Although these statements are considered essential for the mental stability and personal well being of the survivors, their news value is quite low. Therefore, I refrain from quoting or translating extensively and confine myself to listing the available links.

With one exception - the schedule for the upcoming period:
10:15 a.m.

The punitive demand in the MH17 trial is scheduled for November. The court then expects to deliver its verdict in late 2022, the court president announced this morning.

After the prosecution has spoken in November, the lawyers of one of the defendants will be allowed to make their plea in March 2022. The court has already reserved three court days between September and December 2022 to make its ruling. It is not yet possible to say when exactly the court will be able to do so.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Coverage in English:
MH17 families express anger, sorrow as court case continues - DutchNews.nl
Dozens of relatives of MH17 victims to testify at murder trial - DutchNews.nl
90 surviving relatives to speak at MH17 trial in coming weeks

Coverage in Dutch:
Nabestaanden MH17-ramp doen hun verhaal: 'Onmacht, schuldgevoel, nachtmerries'
Nabestaande MH17-ramp: 'Ik wil gerechtigheid voor mijn dochters'
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Today's reports in English:
As families, naturally, having been awash in grief since, with news reports continually feeding them distortions from the factory of lies, further feeding their anger at Russia the main goal, there will be a verdict. So, until this show trial ends, one can expect the coordinated press headlines to remain (victims accuse Russia, orphans hit out at Putin, we know they are lying). Sad.

The verdict for westerners has always been predetermined in this case, and any judge, prosecutor or mainstream editor but kangaroos (no offence to kangaroos).

Here is a new article focused on the press by Helmer. It is focused on the Russian press of old, yet further points are made:


In Soviet days, Russian reporters, editors and readers had shared an understanding of how to write and how to read the real message, the truth, between the lines of the printed text. This was a subtlety western readers have taken time to learn. The invention of the tweet struck with blunt force trauma; its unsubtlety came later. Then the US and the NATO allies opened the Ukraine front of their war against Russia in February 2014; the economic warfare sanctions followed the Ukrainian plot to down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014; the war on the Syria front escalated from September 2015; and the two Novichok operations were launched — the British one involving Sergei Skripal in March 2018, and the German one involving Alexei Navalny in August 2020.

MH17, Skripal's and Navalny, all coordinated under the same hands running the "think-tank-troll-farm" press - to help make up people's minds, to get them fully onboard.

Helmer adds:

“When one lies,” Joseph Goebbels said of Winston Churchill’s “big lie factory” in 1941: “one should lie big, and stick to it.” Today, in the other side’s manual for reporting on Russia – the think-tank troll farms included — the rule is to multiply the little liars in the factory of the big lie, and stick to both of them.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Thanks Voyageur. :cool2: Here's unsought confirmation of your and John Helmer's point.

As fate would have it, CNN published an elaborated exclusive report today based on anonymous sources high-up in Ukrainian Intelligence and after months of their own research on location in Kiev and Minsk (Belarus) about an 18-months sting operation to lure Russian (ex)military personnel which they suspected of war crimes in the Donbass region, including alleged direct participation in the launch of the fatal BUK missile, under false pretenses of a possible security job in Venezuela to come into the Ukraine - where they would have been immediately arrested. The operation failed and no such arrests were made. The whole story seems fabricated and pure propaganda.

Dutch coverage of same:
'Oekraïne stond op punt twee Russen betrokken bij neerhalen MH17 op te pakken'

There are no reports of a session in the trial today.
 

Korzik18

Jedi
FOTCM Member
It turns out that Lukashenko disrupted the CIA operation when an hour before the departure of 33 Wagnerians, he arrested them. :-)Then there was a very tense situation before the elections, along with the color revolution in Belarus. And most likely, Lukashenko thought that these were fighters who came to overthrow him. It seems that at that moment, by a miracle (more precisely, thanks to Putin's intelligence and diplomatic talent), he did not quarrel with Russia.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Rechtbank vraagt opheldering OM over MH17-onderzoek

Court seeks clarification from prosecutors on MH17 investigation

ANP - 2 hours ago

SCHIPHOL (ANP) - The court wants more information from the Public Prosecutor's Office about various reports which recently appeared in the media about the MH17 investigation. It concerns the message which the Public Prosecutor himself had brought out about the new call for information that is particularly aimed at the residents of the Russian city of Kursk. The court also wants to know more about the story that Ukraine was about to almost arrest two Russians who it says were involved in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane.

This was said by the president of the District Court of The Hague, which has moved to the extra-secure courtroom at Schiphol Airport for this monster trial. He wants to know whether both topics have led to additional information that is important for this trial. The Prosecution will answer on Monday, when there is another session.

Currently, the trial is dominated by the stories of relatives of the victims. More than ninety surviving relatives have indicated that they wish to make use of the right to speak.

Pro-Russian separatists


MH17 was downed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 occupants were killed. Among them were nearly two hundred Dutch nationals. Three Russians and one Ukrainian are being prosecuted for their alleged involvement in the disaster, rebel leader Igor Girkin, his right-hand man Sergei Dubinsky, his assistant Oleg Pulatov and garrison commander Leonid Khartshenko. Only Pulatov is assisted by lawyers; the others have not responded to the court's calls.

Investigations by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), have shown that the downing of the passenger plane was done with a Russian-made BUK missile, probably by pro-Russian separatists who thought it was a military aircraft.

Information Appeal


Early in this month, the international investigation team called on Russian military personnel who know more about the disaster to share information, including photos, videos, emails and official documents. The information call is specifically aimed at residents of the Russian city of Kursk, because that is where the JIT believes the BUK missile that shot down the plane came from.

The American news channel CNN published a report this week about a secret operation by the Ukrainian security services that tried to lure Russian soldiers into Ukraine. Two of those soldiers reportedly claimed themselves to be involved in the shooting down of MH17. The operation ultimately did not lead to any arrests.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 
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