MH17 trial: court to hand down verdict before end of 2022.

During today's court hearing in the MH17 downing trial, Presiding Judge Hendrik Stoenhuis said the ruling is expected to be issued in 2022.

The court is now unable to name an exact date for the verdict to be handed down as it remains unclear how long the consideration will take, according to Ukrinform's own correspondent.

However, possible dates are September 22 and December 22, 2022.

As Ukrinform reported, more than 90 family members of those killed in the MH17 crash - nationals of the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Canada – will have the floor in court.

Read also: Ukraine at OSCE again calls on Russia to recognize responsibility for downing of MH17

According to the preliminary schedule, court hearings will take place on September 7, 10, 13, 14, 16, 21, 23, and 24 of this year.

Background

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.

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 self-styled "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 self-proclaimed "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."

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

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