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Crash of flight MH17: life sentences required for suspects | Crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine

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people, be sentenced to life imprisonment “,” text “:” We ask that the suspects Guirkin, Dubinsky, Poulatov and Khartchenko, each for their responsibility in the crash of a plane which caused the death and the murder of 298 people , be sentenced to life imprisonment “}}”>We demand that the suspects Guirkin, Dubinsky, Poulatov and Khartchenko, each for their responsibility in the crash of a plane which caused the death and murder of 298 people, be sentenced to life imprisonmentprosecutor Manon Ridderbeks told judges.

The Russians Sergei Dubinsky, Igor Guirkin and Oleg Poulatov, as well as the Ukrainian Leonid Khartchenko, four senior officers of the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, are accused of having shot down flight MH17 with a BUK surface-to-air missile. .

Prosecutors said the four suspects played a central role in delivering a BUK anti-aircraft battery from Russia, presumably intended to strike a Ukrainian warplane.

If that was their intention, it does not change the accusation of making it a criminal act., underlined the prosecutors. The law does not distinguish between military and civilian aircraft. Any violence against aviation must be severely punished.

In addition, the suspects knew that the airspace was not closed and that civilian planes flew over the combat zone on a daily basis, added the prosecutors, judging distressing little attention given to the possibility of a civilian aircraft being hit.

The suspects used the BUK missile to serve their own military interests, underlined the prosecutor Thijs Berger at the beginning of the week. They did not press the button themselves, but (…) used it in their armed struggle with the aim of destroying a plane, he insisted.

Photos of four men and a missile battery.

The Russians Sergei Dubinsky, Igor Guirkin and Oleg Poulatov, as well as the Ukrainian Leonid Khartchenko, are charged with the murder of the 298 passengers of the flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines. The photomontage, exhibited at a press conference by international investigators, also shows the weapon system used to bring down the plane.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP / JOHN THYS

None of the suspects attended the trial, which started in March 2020 in the Netherlands, and they are on trial in their absence. Only Mr Poulatov is represented by lawyers.

The hearings come against a backdrop of growing Russian-Western tensions around Ukraine. Americans and Europeans accuse Moscow of preparing a military offensive there.

An international team of investigators says the plane was shot down over an area of ​​armed conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine by a missile sent from a Russian military base, possibly in order to fight against Ukrainian forces. Moscow has always denied any involvement.

The court heard poignant testimonies from relatives of the victims this year, sharing grief over the loss of children, parents and siblings, who called on Russia corrupt to do justice.

Prosecutors lamented an attitude contemptuous suspects, absent from the trial, vis-à-vis the relatives of the victims, and affirmed to fear a repetition of violent acts from them.

After MH17 was shot down they hid the BUK-TELAR (anti-aircraft battery) […] up to this day they have tried to hide their role, they added.

A man in military fatigues and holding a weapon is standing amid still smoking debris.

A pro-Russian militiaman observes the remains of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, July 17, 2014, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

Photo: Reuters / MAXIM ZMEYEV

Kiev has been fighting a pro-Moscow insurgency in two breakaway regions bordering Russia since 2014, when the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

The most famous suspect, Igor Guirkine, 49, nicknamed Strelkov (Shooter), was one of the main separatist commanders at the start of the conflict, and probably their most prominent representative at the time.

Sergei Dubinsky, 57, is said to be linked to Russian military intelligence. Oleg Poulatov, 53, is a former member of the Russian special forces and deputy to Mr. Dubinsky.

Leonid Khartchenko, 48, is said to have led a separatist unit in eastern Ukraine.

The verdict of the Schiphol court, near Amsterdam, located a stone’s throw from the airport from where the tragically fated Boeing took off, is not expected before the end of 2022.

The trial will continue in March 2022, with the defense briefing.

When the trial opened in March 2020, prosecutors said that if the court passed a conviction, they would do everything in their power to ensure that it was carried out. whether in the Netherlands or elsewhere.

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