Prosecutors charge four in downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17


The Dutch-led team said it was going to prosecute Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko over the downing of the plane.

They pinpoint for the first time that the device was sacked from a field in a part of eastern Ukraine then controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

All 298 passengers and crew on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed on July 17, 2014. "They will also be placed on national and worldwide wanted lists", Netherlands National Police Chief Constable Wilbert Paulissen chief constable told a news conference.

Dutch prosecutors said they are charging four pro-Russian separatist commanders for their role in the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, announcing that the trial would begin in March 2020.

Four worldwide arrest warrants have been issued by officials, who have made a fresh plea for witnesses. "They will also be placed on national and worldwide wanted lists".

However, they may have to be tried in absentia.

A Russian military expert told Tass news agency that when hostilities "were in full swing", Vladislav Surkov never spoke by phone with separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine for security reasons. "I hope everybody will go for the truth". "The militia does not have anything to do with this".

The Joint Investigation Team found out that the plane was shot from the Buk missile launcher; it belonged to the 53rd Missile Brigade based in Kursk region, Russia.

Jon and Meryn O'Brien lost their son Jack when MH17 was shot down.

Westerbeke said investigators will not ask Russian Federation and Ukraine to extradite the suspects, noting both countries prohibit that.

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On Wednesday, the Dutch investigators claimed the men had "formed a chain" linking the separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine with Russia's military, which allowed them to obtain the missile for their troops who were fighting Ukrainian government troops at the time.

Malaysian prosecutor Mohamad Hanafiah bin Zakaria told reporters on Wednesday that the findings "are based on extensive investigations and also legal research", and that he supported the report's conclusions completely. The three other members of the team are from Australia, Ukraine and Belgium. Charges will be brought, Zerkal said, adding that a Dutch court would then "start working to consider this case". "It's a start. I'm satisfied".

"He made this possible", she said. "He created the situation".

Paul Guard, whose parents Jill and Roger were also killed in the disaster, said he believed the main objective of the trail would be to place responsibility on the chain of command.

Robert Ayley, pictured with wife Sharlene was the only New Zealander killed when MH17 was shot out the sky over the Ukraine. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers.

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said the laying of charges for what was a "despicable act" was a significant step to getting justice for the families of the dead. That weapon was later used for shooting down the civilian aircraft.

He explained that finding out who gave the order and who pulled the trigger will also determine if the missile was sacked accidentally or deliberately, which he said there was still speculation about.

Fred Westerbeke of the Joint Investigation Team discussing the ongoing investigation of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in 2014.

Wednesday's MH17 press conference.

Instead, Russia insists that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack using a missile that was supplied to the country while it was part of the USSR.