Sentences in the case of the MH17 downing over Donbas may be enforced in Ukraine while the court will be able to use video conference calls in trial hearings.
Dutch legislators have approved an agreement signed between their country and Ukraine to facilitate possible prosecution of persons responsible for the downing of the Malaysian Boeing, including the use of video communication, DW reports.
The agreement approved lays out a provision that the trial will take place in a Dutch court, most likely in The Hague.
If the sentences are pronounced, they may be enforced in the territory of Ukraine if the convicts are not extradited to the Netherlands. The endorsement of the agreement is an important step toward finding the truth and bringing suspects to justice, thereby meeting the demands of the families of victims, according to Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on May 25, Australia and the Netherlands formally accused Russia of being responsible for downing a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in 2014.
UNIAN memo. Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over militant-occupied territory in Donetsk region. All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Safety Board October 13, 2015, issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system. The Joint Investigation Team in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia.
No suspects have been named, though Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said his office had identified 100 "persons of interest" in the investigation, including those who organized the arrival of the rocket and oversaw its transportation from Russia to Ukraine and back.
The Criminal Investigation into the tragedy is carried out by the Joint Investigative Team (JIT), which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The countries participating in the investigation of the MH17 crash agreed not to create a separate tribunal and decided that the perpetrators would be brought before the Dutch court.
On July 7, 2017, Ukraine and the Netherlands signed an agreement on the establishment of legal grounds for the consideration of the said case.