Court of The Hague: flight MH17 was shot down by Russian air defense systems "Beech". Three of those involved were sentenced to life in prison

The District Court of The Hague found it proven that a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 operating flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 was shot down by a Russian Buk missile. Three people involved in the crime were found guilty.

On Thursday, November 17, the District Court of The Hague found a citizen of Ukraine and two Russians guilty of the crash of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 passenger plane shot down by a rocket in the sky over the Donbass in July 2014, reports DW.

The defendants included the former “Minister of Defense” of the self-proclaimed “DPR” Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Major General Sergei Dubinsky (nicknamed Khmury), Colonel Oleg Pulatov (Gyurza) and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko (Mole). The guilt of Girkin, Kharchenko and Dubinsky was recognized as proven. The charges against the defendant Pulatov were dropped.

According to the conclusions of the investigation, which were considered by the court, all four contributed to the arrival of the instrument of crime – the Buk anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) – from Russia and coordinated the actions of its crew, thereby playing “a key role in the murder of 298 people.” The defendants were not present at the verdict.

The court also found it proven that flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian Buk air defense missile fired from a field near the village of Pervomaisky. The conflict in Donbass is recognized as international, and the Russian Federation at that time had universal control over the so-called “DPR”, DW correspondents report from The Hague. At the same time, the accused Girkin, Dubinsky, Kharchenko and Pulatov cannot enjoy the immunity of combatants, because the Russian Federation did not recognize its control over the “DPR”, and they themselves deny that they were part of the RF Armed Forces.

Hearings in the case were held in the legal complex at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, from where the Malaysian Boeing flew out at one time. They were open, anyone could follow the process: the meetings, including the announcement of the verdict, were broadcast on the Internet.

The court sentenced in absentia the Russians Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky, as well as the Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, to life imprisonment in the case of the Boeing crash in the Donbass. They are charged under sections 168 and 289 of the Dutch Penal Code – the destruction of an aircraft as part of an organized group, which led to the death of 298 people, and the murder of passengers on board. They have to pay more than 16 million euros in damages to the relatives of the victims.

Russia repeatedly stated that in no way do not recognize responsibility for the disaster. The defense side also insisted that the design of the Buk air defense system allegedly practically excludes a strike on a non-military target.

Passenger Boeing-777 of the Malaysian Airlines, operating flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17, 2014 in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. 298 people died.

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