Court hearings for the MH17 crash began on June 7 in the Netherlands. During this week, general issues related to the investigation and case materials are discussed. The testimonies of eight witnesses were announced for the first time.
Reading out the case file, yesterday Hendrik Steenhais, the presiding judge, stated during the hearing about the only version of the event established by the investigation:
“The experts said that the damage to the aircraft was comparable to the damage caused by the Buk missile system … The investigation team concluded that any scenario that another missile could shoot down the aircraft is not plausible.”
For the first time, the testimony of witnesses was announced, who told the investigation that they had heard or seen the launch of a rocket in the area of the MH17 crash. They were interrogated by representatives of the JIT (International Investigation Team) and an investigating judge, according to the BBC Russian Service.
One of the witnesses, who was at that moment at the DPR checkpoint in the area of N of the item. Pervomayskoye, says that he heard first a roar, then a whistle and then a sound like an explosion in the sky. Literally a few seconds after that, the wreckage of the aircraft began to fall from above. Telephone billing confirmed the presence of this witness in the area of the disaster on July 17, 2014.
All eight witnesses claim to have heard or seen the flight of the rocket, three of them were in the immediate vicinity of the place from which it was fired – not far from the village of Snezhnoe. Twenty witnesses stated that they saw the trail of a rocket in the sky, some watched the falling of the wreckage of the plane.
Yesterday’s live broadcast from the courtroom showed more than 140 images of fragments of an alleged Buk missile system found in the aircraft’s hull or at the crash site. The case materials contain data obtained during the analysis and comparison of several thousand fragments, about the modification and number of the warhead of the missile fired at the liner.
The court also showed videos of Western journalists Roland Olyphant and Christopher Miller. A few days after the disaster, it was filmed at the site of the alleged location of the Buk missile launcher and shows an area burned out from the grass. During yesterday’s meeting, it was also reported that of the 298 people who were on board the downed flight MH17, the remains of two passengers were never found.
Last year, on March 9, 2020, a trial began in the Netherlands over the crash of the Malaysian Boeing flight MH17 in the skies over the Donbas. The crash killed everyone on board – 298 passengers and crew members. Most are Dutch nationals. There are four defendants in the case: Russians Sergey Dubinsky, Igor Girkin and Oleg Pulatov, Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. All suspects, except Pulatov, who is represented at the trial by an international group of two Dutch and one Russian lawyers, are being tried in absentia. Only Colonel Oleg Pulatov (Gyurza) cooperates with the court.
Pre-production ended May 26. No judgment is expected this year. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly stated that the JIT’s accusations of Russia’s involvement in the plane crash are unfounded, and the investigation is biased. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is not allowed to investigate the crash of the liner, and Moscow can recognize the results of the investigation if it fully participates in it. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced the disposal of missiles, the engine from which was demonstrated by the Dutch commission to investigate the crash of MH17, after 2011. Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the Russian president, has repeatedly stated Moscow’s categorical rejection of any accusations against the Russian Federation of involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing.