A court in the Netherlands has suspended hearings on the crash of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine until September 28, presiding judge Hendrik Steenhays said at a hearing on Monday.
The new block of hearings in the case of MH17 in the Netherlands began on August 31. The first session of the hearings was expected to last until 11 September.
“To date, we are suspending the hearings until Monday, September 28, and they will continue at 10 a.m.,” the judge said.
He also said that requests previously submitted by the defense had been referred to the investigating judge. The response is expected to be heard at the next meeting. At the same time, the defense will prepare for new requests.
The trial of the crash of flight MH17 began in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020. Four defendants – Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko – are held on it. Pulatova is represented at the trial by an international group consisting of two Dutch and one Russian lawyer. The rest of the suspects are being tried in absentia.
Malaysian Boeing, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight MH17, crashed on July 17, 2014, near Donetsk. There were 298 people on board, all of them dead. Kyiv blamed the militias for the crash, saying they did not have the means to shoot down the aircraft at such altitude. The Joint Investigation Team (ESS), which under the leadership of the Dutch Prosecutor General’s Office without Russia’s involvement is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the crash, has previously presented interim results. The investigation alleges that Boeing was shot down from the Buk anti-aircraft missile system belonging to the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces from Kursk.
Court session at Schiphol Justice Complex in the Netherlands
According to RIA Novosti Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Nikolay Vinnichenko, the Russian side handed over not only the data of Russian radars to the Netherlands, but also documentation showing that the Buk missile, which hit Boeing, belonged to Ukraine, and it was launched from the territory controlled by Kyiv, but this information was ignored by investigators. At the same time, on the first day of the court session, the prosecution admitted that it had received and was studying the data of the Russian prosecutor’s office.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the accusations of Russia’s involvement in the Malaysian Boeing crash are unfounded and regrettable, the investigation is biased and lopsided. President Vladimir Putin noted that Russia is not allowed to investigate the crash of the airliner in eastern Ukraine, and Moscow can recognize the results of the investigation if it will take a full part in it. All the missiles from which the Dutch commission of inquiry into the MH17 crash demonstrated was disposed of after 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has repeatedly said that Moscow categorically rejects accusations of involvement in the Malaysian Boeing crash.