Dutch court will give its verdict on the downing of flight MH17 on November 17

The Dutch justice will pronounce its sentence on November 17 in the trial on the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 when it was flying over eastern Ukraine in 2014, the competent court in The Hague announced on Monday.

“November 17, 2022 has been chosen as the provisional date for sentencing in the criminal trial relating to flight MH17,” the court said.

The demolition caused the death of its 298 occupants on July 17, 2014. Four men – three Russians and one Ukrainian -, all of them senior commanders of the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, are accused of having shot down flight MH17 with a missile Russian ground-air BUK.

Prosecutors asked for life sentences for all four, tried in absentia.

The trial was held in the Netherlands because the Boeing 777 was flying between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur and most of the victims were of Dutch nationality.

The defendants were the Russian citizens Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinski and Oleg Pulatov, and the Ukrainian Leonid Jarchenko. All four refused to appear in court, and were tried in absentia.

Only Pulatov had legal representation, and in a recorded video he asked the court to acquit him because he said he had “nothing to do” with the drama.

The trial for flight MH17 began in March 2020 and took a new turn in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

In the summer of 2014, the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine was already the scene of an armed conflict between pro-Russian separatist forces and the Ukrainian army, preceded by the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula earlier that year.

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