4 suspects face prosecution in MH17 tragedy

2019-06-20 03:18:27 GMT2019-06-20 11:18:27(Beijing Time) Sina English

Three Russians and a Ukrainian will face murder charges for the July 2014 downing of ­Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in which 298 people were killed, in a ­trial to start in the Netherlands in March 2020, an investigation team said Wednesday.

The Dutch-led international team tasked with assigning criminal responsibility for the plane's destruction named the four suspects as Russians Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Igor Girkin, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. 

It said international arrest warrants for the four have been issued.

MH17 was shot out of the sky on July 17, 2014, over territory held by separatists in eastern Ukraine as it was flying from Amsterdam to the ­Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. ­Everyone on board was killed.

Most of those on board were Dutch. The joint investigation team formed by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine found that the plane was shot down by a Russian missile.

Last year Russian President Vladimir Putin called MH17's downing a "terrible tragedy" but said that Moscow was not to blame and that there are other explanations for what happened.

"Russia was unable to take part in the investigation despite expressing an interest right from the start and trying to join it," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier on Wednesday.

(Agencies)

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