Ukraine’s Prosecutor General meets with families of MH17 victims.

During a working visit to the Netherlands, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova met with relatives of the MH17 victims at the Schiphol court complex.

According to Ukrinform's own correspondent in The Hague, Venediktova met with Anton Kotte, who lost his eldest son, daughter-in-law, and grandson, and Pete Plug, who lost his brother, daughter-in-law, and nephew.

Iryna Venediktova expressed her condolences and stressed that the MH17 case is one of the key priorities for Ukraine in the work of the prosecutor's office.

She also stressed that the ongoing trials in the Netherlands into crimes committed in Ukraine during the armed conflict are all extremely important.

Read also: MH17 trial: "They know we know they’re lying"

After the meeting, Venediktova attended today’s court hearing.

Today, the relatives of the MH17 victims continue with their speeches.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova met with her Dutch counterpart Theo Hofstee, his deputy who is also head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in the MH17 downing case, Digna van Boetzelaer.

The parties discussed issues of international legal cooperation between the offices and further interaction in the MH17 case. Under the JIT Agreement, the leading country in the inquiry is the Netherlands, which coordinates the actions of its national units. In early September 2021, changes were made to the JIT composition after PG Iryna Venediktova took the helm of the Ukrainian side.

Background

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over the 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.

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

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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