According to the Dutch public prosecutor’s office, the four men, three Russians and a Ukrainian, are responsible for the destruction of a Malaysia Airlines airliner from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The aircraft was shot down on July 17, 2014 while crossing the skies of eastern Ukraine plagued by a separatist conflict, killing its 298 occupants, including 193 Dutch nationals.

“The prosecution demands life imprisonment for all suspects in the slaughter of the MH17”, indicates in the Netherlands public television OUR. “The suspects used devastating, planned and indiscriminate violence”, prosecutors said Wednesday at the Schiphol court, not far from the airport from which the MH17, reports the editorial staff.

“The passengers were snatched from life in a brutal way. The lives of thousands of loved ones of victims are marked forever or even destroyed”, they continued.

“War is not a carte blanche”

“The suspects then held key positions in rebel groups [séparatistes prorusses] who were fighting in eastern Ukraine, the place where the plane crashed”, remind the OUR.

“War is not a carte blanche for violence”, said a prosecutor, relays public television. “The suspects were ordinary citizens who had no right to commit violence in any form,” he added.

Since March 2020, four suspects, three Russian nationals and a Ukrainian, officers and paramilitaries, have been tried in absentia in the Netherlands. They are accused of having played a role in the firing of a Russian-made Buk missile, the origin, according to an international investigation, of the shooting down of the plane.

The prosecutor “speaks of a ‘group of criminals working closely together’ and which aimed to shoot down a plane”, written on his side RTL New. According to the prosecution, “the fact that they did not press the button themselves is legally irrelevant.”

Decision expected for 2022

“We don’t know exactly why the MH17 was shot”, adds RTL New. “The most likely scenario is that the pro-Russian separatists didn’t realize it was a civilian robbery.”

The suspects are probably in Russia, which does not extradite them. Only one of them, [Oleg] Poulatov, was represented by lawyers during the trial. They will be heard in March.”

“A decision is not expected before the second half of 2022”, specifies the private television.

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