Dutch prosecution can add MH17 Boeing crash suspect’s interviews to court case

The Dutch Public Prosecution Service might attach the media statements put forward by one of the suspects, former leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) militia Igor Girkin (Strelkov) to the court case, spokeswoman for the Dutch prosecution service Brechtje van de Moosdijk told TASS Monday.

"Interviews can be added to the court file, which as you know is very large and contains all kinds of documents. It remains to be seen if certain interviews of Girkin will be used as [supporting] evidence, I cannot say this right now," she said.

Earlier, Girkin told The Times that he feels "moral responsibility" for the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Read also Russian Foreign Ministry debunks Dutch newspaper article on alleged meddling in MH17 case

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk. The crash killed all the 283 passengers, citizens of 10 countries, and 15 crewmembers. In spite of the active armed conflict on the ground, Kiev did not close its airspace over the Donbass region to international passenger flights. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the crash is made up of representatives from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

On May 24, 2018 the experts published a provisional report, claiming that the missile system that was used to down Flight MH17 could have been transferred from Russia and be a part of the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade near Kursk. Moscow rejects the JIT accusations. Particularly, the Russian Defense Ministry said that no Russian army missile system had ever crossed the Ukrainian border. Moreover, the defense ministry’s representatives reported that they had identified the missile that was launched to down the Boeing and established that it was transferred over to the Ukrainian troops back in 1986 and had never returned to Russia since.

In June 2019, the JIT said it had identified four persons suspected of being involved in the MH17 crash. They are three Russian nationals Igor Girkin, also known under the nickname of Strelkov, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and a Ukrainian national, Leonid Kharchenko. They are accused of allegedly transporting the missile system that downed the plane to Ukraine from Russia. The trial began in the Netherlands on March 9.

Russian officials have repeatedly expressed doubts and distrust of the results of the JIT's work, pointed to the groundless nature of arguments the accusations are based on and unwillingness to use Russian conclusions in the course of the investigation.

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