MH17 case file consist of 65,000 pages – judge

Flight MH17 criminal case file consists of 65,000 pages.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis made a corresponding statement at the court hearing on Monday, June 7, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

He also noted that not all the details would be discussed during the consideration of the case on the merits.

"The file consists of about 65,000 pages and many hundreds of hours of visual and audio material. It’s such a large case that it’s simply not possible to speak about every detail," the judge said.

According to Steenhuis, the prosecution and the lawyers of defendant Oleg Pulatov may draw the court's attention to specific details in the case.

He also stressed that the position of the court would be announced only after the completion of the hearing on the merits.

The court will consider the issue of weapon used to shoot down Flight MH17, whether the plane was downed by Buk missile system; the place where a missile was launched, whether it was launched from a field near the village of Pervomayske; the role of the four defendants.

As reported, the hearing on the merits in the MH17 criminal proceedings has started on Monday, June 7.

In March 2020, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case over downing of Flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.

On June 19, 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic"; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called "Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People’s Republic"; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic.

The interests of Pulatov, who expressed a desire to join the trial, are represented by lawyers for the Dutch law firm Sjöcrona Van Stigt.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over occupied area of Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The international Joint Investigation Team reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

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