The Netherlands Public Prosecutor's Office does not express concern over the dismissal of Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the MH17 probe.
"The Netherlands Public Prosecutor's Office is not concerned over the reorganization consequences for upcoming MH17 trial as the Dutch court's files are almost ready," Spokesperson for the Netherlands Public Prosecutor's Office Brechtje van de Moosdijk said in a commentary to an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague.
According to her, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine remains a reliable partner of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which conducts the investigation into MH17 crash.
"The rotation of prosecutors do not change this," the spokesperson said.
Today it became known that four representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office are involved now in the JIT’s probe into the MH17 crash.
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko stated that the dismissal of Ukrainian prosecutors previously involved in the MH17 probe would not affect further investigation.
Earlier, the Dutch media outlet NRC.NL reported about the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the MH17 probe, including two prosecutors who had represented Ukraine in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).
As noted, such developments could play into the hands of suspects, who might use the dismissal of Ukrainian prosecutors during the trial, and could affect further investigation into identification of other possible suspects.
As reported, the trial of suspects in downing MH17 flight will start on March 9, 2020.
On June 19, 2019, the international Joint Investigation Team 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, retired officer of the Russian Armed Forces, and former colonel of Russia’s Federal Security Service; Sergey Dubinskiy, colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Russian Airborne Forces Reserve. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Oleg Pulatov expressed a desire to join the legal proceedings and will be represented in court by a Dutch law firm.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over conflict-hit Donbas in July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The JIT reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.