Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash probe set to name suspects

The governments of the Netherlands and Australia have said they hold Russia legally responsible

Worldwide investigators are set on Wednesday to launch criminal proceedings against suspects in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine almost five years ago.

"There is a court case on March 9 2020 against four people for murder", Silene Fredriksz, whose son and daughter-in-law were killed in the disaster, told reporters after family members were briefed on the charges.

The Dutch-led group of global investigators who formed to examine the 2014 MH17 downing have named four suspects.

The Netherlands and Australia said they would hold Russian Federation legally responsible for downing the plane.

On July 17, 2014, a Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines flying from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) was shot down above Eastern Ukraine, near Donetsk.

A joint investigation team formed by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine found that the plane was shot down by a Russian missile.


Dutch authorities have said suspects may be tried in absentia. Bellingcat said it was not yet clear who exactly gave the order to shoot the airplane down.

The Russian government denies having provided any support to pro-Russia rebels fighting Ukrainian government troops and also denied any involvement in shooting down MH17.

All of these were in eastern Ukraine on the night of the attack, said the spokesman for the investigators, who are from The Netherlands, where most of the victims of the incident were from.

While the Netherlands and Australia hold Russian Federation responsible for the shooting, Putin has said that while the incident was a "terrible tragedy" Moscow was not to blame.

They said their next step would be to identify individual culprits so they could be put on trial.

Chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said all four suspects were responsible for bringing the BUK-M1 missile launcher into a field in Pervomaisky, eastern Ukraine, where the missile was sacked from.

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