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Netherlands: 'It wasn't a full-scale investigation' - Pulatov's lawyer on other scenarios in MH17 crash case
04:35

Netherlands: 'It wasn't a full-scale investigation' - Pulatov's lawyer on other scenarios in MH17 crash case

Netherlands, The Hague
November 17, 2022 at 19:13 GMT +00:00 · Published

The lawyer for the Russian man acquitted at the MH17 trial hit out at the scope of the investigation on Thursday, after the court in the Hague convicted three others of murder.

"It wasn't a full-scale investigation, in our opinion," said Boudewijn van Eijck, the lawyer for Oleg Pulatov. "Because we think that these alternative scenarios or other scenarios were not as investigated thoroughly as the main scenario, for example."

"For example, from two hours after the crash they focused on the scenario with the Buk missile caused the downing of MH17. Later on, there was mentioned that maybe other ground to air missiles could have caused also this tragedy. And in all the forensic investigation, they only used the material of the Buk missile, not of other missiles," he continued.

The lawyer also noted that "there are many witnesses who say they saw a military aircraft."

"Today we didn't hear anything about it. And the court didn't mention if those witness statements were reliable," van Eijck added.

The court convicted two Russians, Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky, and one Ukrainian, Leonid Kharchenko, finding them guilty of downing flight MH17 with a Russian-made Buk missile over the Donbass region in 2014. All have two weeks to appeal the ruling.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

While the court did rule that the three convicted had hit the commercial plane 'in error' while targeting a military craft, it also claimed that it did not detract from the 'premeditated intent'.

The Dutch government blamed Moscow, while Russia strongly denied any involvement and the judgment did not directly link the use of the Buk system to Moscow.

In response to the decision, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the court had "neglected the principles of impartial justice for the sake of the current political situation", claiming judges were under "unprecedented pressure" from Dutch politicians, prosecutors’ representatives and the media, leading to a "politically motivated outcome".

The department stated that prosecutors’ conclusions were based on evidence from "anonymous witnesses whose identities are classified, as well as on information of dubious origin" from Ukrainian Security Services.

It claimed there was "no convincing evidence" that MH17 was shot down by a Buk system of Russian origin, and accused judges of ignoring documents declassified by the Russian Defence Ministry which it says show "the transfer to Ukraine of a missile, the serial number of which matches that found on the wreckage at the crash site."

The ministry also reiterated its condemnation of Kiev for failing to close the airspace over a combat zone, and the United States for refusing to share satellite images from the day of the incident.

Netherlands: 'It wasn't a full-scale investigation' - Pulatov's lawyer on other scenarios in MH17 crash case
04:35
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The lawyer for the Russian man acquitted at the MH17 trial hit out at the scope of the investigation on Thursday, after the court in the Hague convicted three others of murder.

"It wasn't a full-scale investigation, in our opinion," said Boudewijn van Eijck, the lawyer for Oleg Pulatov. "Because we think that these alternative scenarios or other scenarios were not as investigated thoroughly as the main scenario, for example."

"For example, from two hours after the crash they focused on the scenario with the Buk missile caused the downing of MH17. Later on, there was mentioned that maybe other ground to air missiles could have caused also this tragedy. And in all the forensic investigation, they only used the material of the Buk missile, not of other missiles," he continued.

The lawyer also noted that "there are many witnesses who say they saw a military aircraft."

"Today we didn't hear anything about it. And the court didn't mention if those witness statements were reliable," van Eijck added.

The court convicted two Russians, Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky, and one Ukrainian, Leonid Kharchenko, finding them guilty of downing flight MH17 with a Russian-made Buk missile over the Donbass region in 2014. All have two weeks to appeal the ruling.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

While the court did rule that the three convicted had hit the commercial plane 'in error' while targeting a military craft, it also claimed that it did not detract from the 'premeditated intent'.

The Dutch government blamed Moscow, while Russia strongly denied any involvement and the judgment did not directly link the use of the Buk system to Moscow.

In response to the decision, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the court had "neglected the principles of impartial justice for the sake of the current political situation", claiming judges were under "unprecedented pressure" from Dutch politicians, prosecutors’ representatives and the media, leading to a "politically motivated outcome".

The department stated that prosecutors’ conclusions were based on evidence from "anonymous witnesses whose identities are classified, as well as on information of dubious origin" from Ukrainian Security Services.

It claimed there was "no convincing evidence" that MH17 was shot down by a Buk system of Russian origin, and accused judges of ignoring documents declassified by the Russian Defence Ministry which it says show "the transfer to Ukraine of a missile, the serial number of which matches that found on the wreckage at the crash site."

The ministry also reiterated its condemnation of Kiev for failing to close the airspace over a combat zone, and the United States for refusing to share satellite images from the day of the incident.