Dutch court resumes Malaysian Arlines flight MH17 trial

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Malaysia Airlines

A Dutch court on Monday resumed criminal proceedings into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 after a break of almost three months to allow defendants time to prepare.

The proceedings reopened with defence raising renewed complaints about lack of time.

The case materials now consist of more than 40,000 pages,  defence lawyer, Sabine ten Doesschate, told judges in the court in Amsterdam.

“The headstart of the public prosecutor, who has been investigating for almost six years, cannot be made up in three months,’’ she said.

Travel restrictions in place during the pandemic had also hindered the defence in preparing their case, she also said, adding that she had only been able to have superficial contact with her client.

All 298 people on board flight MH17 en route Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed in the downing over war-torn eastern Ukraine. Most of the victims were Dutch.

A Dutch-led investigative team has linked it to a Buck anti-aircraft missile system believed to have been transported to the conflict area from neighbouring Russia.

Four suspects, three Russian nationals – Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov – and Ukrainian national, Leonid Kharchenko, are being tried in absentia.

Only Russian defendant, Oleg Pulatov, a high-ranking leader among pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine at the time, is being represented in court. He pleaded innocent via his lawyers.

The trial started on March 9 and was adjourned on March 23. The Russian Government has repeatedly denied allegations of involvement in the incident. (dpa/NAN)

– Jun. 8, 2020 @ 15:35 GMT |

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