Rada ratifies agreement with Netherlands on MH17 investigation procedure

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The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, has ratified an agreement between Ukraine and the Netherlands defining the procedure for bringing to justice in Ukraine the persons who were found guilty of the crash of flight MH17 in a Dutch court.

According to an Interfax-Ukraine reporter, 241 MPs voted for the respective draft law (No. 0194) on the ratification at a plenary meeting on July 12.

The agreement between Ukraine and the Netherlands on international legal cooperation regarding crimes related to the downing of flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 provides that the central authorities in Ukraine through which requests for legal assistance will be sent are the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Justice Ministry and those in the Netherlands will be Minister of Security and Justice.

The agreement notes that the Netherlands has the competence to prosecute individuals for crimes related to the crash and for this purpose Ukraine can transfer criminal proceedings on the basis of the European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters, including at the request of the Netherlands.

According to the agreement, those accused who stay in Ukraine and whose extradition to the Netherlands was denied can take part in judicial proceedings in the Netherlands via a video conference.

The agreement determines the procedure for organizing judicial review via a video conference, as well as giving testimony of witnesses and experts in this mode. The agreement also provides for the execution of punishment for a person with Ukrainian citizenship, who stays in Ukraine. The agreement determines the format of the request for transfer of execution, as well as the procedure for taking a person into custody.

The agreement notes that the execution of punishment in Ukraine is carried out in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, and the execution of punishment in Ukraine terminates the execution of punishment in the Netherlands. The agreement determines the procedure for organizing and calculating the term of serving a sentence for crimes related to the shooting down of the aircraft.

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