The Ukrainian military may have hit the MH17 passenger plane in 2014 by mistake, Sabine ten Doesschate, the defence lawyer for Oleg Pulatov, said Tuesday.
The Dutch prosecutors consider the scenario unlikely, but the Ukrainian military had access to a large number of weapons, the lawyer said.
Ten Doesschate suggested that the Ukrainian military may have been mistaken, similarly to what happened in 2001 with Siberia Airlines Flight 1812, which was shot down over the Black Sea.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed on 17 July 2014, in eastern Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people aboard. The accident is being investigated by Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team, which claim that the plane was hit by a Russian Buk missile. Moscow has repeatedly denied involvement in the incident.
Hearings in the case of the 2014 downing of flight MH17 in Ukraine resumed in the Dutch Schiphol Judicial Complex on Monday. At the current hearing, the defence is expected to present its position on issues that were previously raised by the prosecution, as well as voice its requests.
The prosecution, among other things, will have to explain why it requested more time to investigate the case against Pulatov before proceeding to consider his case on the merits.