Charges against the first four suspects in the downing of a Malaysia Airline Boeing plane (flight MH17) over occupied Donbas in 2014 will be brought after their names are made public by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Olena Zerkal said.
"The names will be announced. Charges will be brought. After that, the Criminal Court of Schiphol (the Netherlands) will start working to consider this case. But until the court establishes their guilt, we cannot say they are guilty ... They are only the top. Naturally, then the number of people who are involved in this will be much larger than the four people who will be named," Zerkal told Interfax-Ukraine in an exclusive interview.
When asked if this concerns the Russian army's senior officers, she answered in the affirmative, explaining that the transfer of such weapons as the Buk anti-aircraft missile system, which was used to shot down the plane, "is impossible without the top brass's permission."
The deputy minister clarified that "there is already all the information about how the Buk arrived, but there is no information about who shot, who is responsible."
After that, she said, Bellingcat, an international group of researchers, who collect and analyze information from open sources, is expected to deliver their presentation.
"There will be another interesting presentation by Bellingcat. They always go further than the official investigation team," Zerkal said.
She said that the representatives of the Netherlands and Australia are jointly moving "as part of their claim against the Russians for the downing of MH17 as a state." "They have already held one round of consultations with them, and now they are moving towards the second round of consultations to bring Russia to justice as a state," she said.
"So far this is international legal responsibility. These are all complex processes, and they are treated in a very careful and balanced way, and, unlike us, they understand that international legal responsibility in international law cannot be handled in a hurry," Zerkal added.