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Netherlands: 'It's a piece of justice' - Victims' families and lawyers react to MH17 verdict05:11

Netherlands: 'It's a piece of justice' - Victims' families and lawyers react to MH17 verdict

Netherlands, Badhoevedorp
November 18, 2022 at 01:15 GMT +00:00 · Published

Victims’ families and lawyers reacted positively to the decision of the Hague District Court on Thursday, after judges convicted two Russians and one Ukrainian of downing flight MH17.

Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, were found guilty of causing the aircraft to crash using a Russian-made Buk missile, over the Donbass region in 2014.

"We will never get our children back, it's a piece of justice," said one relative, while another, Robby Oehlers said recent events had changed the case:

"I was present at the scene where the plane crashed. I've been looking for her body. For me it has a slightly different meaning. The war has also changed it. It has brought it much closer," he said.

The court found that the third Russian on trial, Oleg Pulatov, had no prior knowledge of the plan. All four 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 find that the convicted men must hit the plane 'in error', while attempting to target a military craft, it also ruled 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's a piece of justice' - Victims' families and lawyers react to MH17 verdict05:11
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Victims’ families and lawyers reacted positively to the decision of the Hague District Court on Thursday, after judges convicted two Russians and one Ukrainian of downing flight MH17.

Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, were found guilty of causing the aircraft to crash using a Russian-made Buk missile, over the Donbass region in 2014.

"We will never get our children back, it's a piece of justice," said one relative, while another, Robby Oehlers said recent events had changed the case:

"I was present at the scene where the plane crashed. I've been looking for her body. For me it has a slightly different meaning. The war has also changed it. It has brought it much closer," he said.

The court found that the third Russian on trial, Oleg Pulatov, had no prior knowledge of the plan. All four 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 find that the convicted men must hit the plane 'in error', while attempting to target a military craft, it also ruled 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.