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Dutch courtroom sentences 3 to life in jail for 2014 downing of MH17

AMSTERDAM: Dutch judges on Thursday convicted three males of homicide for his or her function within the 2014 taking pictures down of Malaysia Airways flight MH17 over Ukraine, and sentenced them to life in jail. A fourth man was acquitted.
MH17 was a passenger flight that was shot down over jap Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
“Solely probably the most extreme punishment is becoming to retaliate for what the suspects have achieved, which has brought on a lot struggling to so many victims and so many surviving relations,” presiding choose Hendrik Steenhuis mentioned, studying a abstract of the ruling.
Households of victims stood weeping and wiping away tears within the courtroom as Steenhuis learn the decision.
The three males convicted have been former Russian intelligence brokers Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian separatist chief.
A fourth, Russian Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted on all fees.
On the time, the world was the scene of preventing between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, the precursor of this yr’s battle.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February and claims to have annexed the Donetsk province the place the airplane’s wreckage and victims’ stays have been as soon as scattered throughout cornfields.
Steenhuis mentioned the boys didn’t get pleasure from any immunity from prosecution as they weren’t members of the Russian armed providers.
“There isn’t a cheap doubt” that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system, Steenhuis mentioned.
Victims’ representatives mentioned the ruling is a crucial milestone, although the convicts stay fugitives. They’re all believed to be in Russia, which won’t extradite them.
Moscow denies any involvement or duty for MH17’s downing and in 2014 it additionally denied any presence in Ukraine.
In a briefing in Moscow on Thursday, deputy overseas ministry spokesman Ivan Nechaev instructed reporters the federal government would look at the courtroom’s findings.
“We’ll examine this determination as a result of in all these points, each nuance issues,” he mentioned.
The 4 males have been charged with taking pictures down an airplane and with homicide in a trial that was held beneath Dutch regulation.
Telephone name intercepts that shaped a key a part of the proof towards the boys recommended they believed they have been focusing on a Ukrainian fighter jet.
Of the suspects, solely Pulatov had pleaded not responsible through legal professionals he employed to characterize him. The others have been tried in absentia and none attended the trial.
Victims of MH17, which had been en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, got here from 10 completely different nations. Greater than half have been Dutch.
The investigation was led by the Netherlands, with participation from Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia and Belgium.

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