Court hearing in MH17 trial starts

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The court hearing in the MH17 trial has started at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in the Netherlands at 10:00 local time, an Ukrinform correspondent in The Hague reports.

Relatives of the victims, their lawyers, and lawyers of one of the four suspects, Oleg Pulatov, are present in the courtroom. Pulatov’s interests are represented by lawyers Sabine Ten Doesschate and Boudewijn van Eijck from the Sjöcrona Van Stigt law firm. None of the suspects attends the hearings of MH17 trial.

All court proceedings of the MH17 trial are live streamed.

The hearings are to take place from Monday, September 28, to Friday, October 2. Court hearings may be suspended or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In March this year, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case of the downing of flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.

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 (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."

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.

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