Investigators not yet ready to disclose names of MH17 suspects – PGO
Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin said that neither the Ukrainian side nor the Dutch investigators are ready to reveal any names of suspects complicit in the shooting-down of the Malaysian Boeing (flight MH17) over eastern Ukraine in 2014, that’s according to 112 Ukraine TV channel.
It’s Russian authorities who could contribute much better to disclosing the list of suspects, Yenin told 112 Ukraine while commenting on today’s reports in Russian media alleging that the Dutch investigators intended to make public names of MH17 suspects as early as Jan 2.
"Neither the Ukrainian nor Dutch investigators are yet ready to make public any names," Yenin said.
According to the Ukrainian official, as soon as the MH17 probe is completed, a certain group of people will immediately receive suspicion notices, and after that the materials will be forwarded to the Dutch court.
Also Yenin said that media reports about the alleged 120 suspects in the case were nothing but fake news spread by Russia.
Read alsoJIT countries confirm support for Dutch prosecution of MH17 suspects"Only sick Russian propaganda could come up with 120 people complicit in the crash. In fact, we are talking about no more than a dozen or two dozen people,” said the deputy prosecutor general.
He added that the purpose of this misinformation is to mislead the public and create noise on the topic of the MH17 investigation, in order to level out the charges against the actual culprits.
In addition, according to Yenin, as soon as the Dutch investigators complete the pre-trial probe, they will ask the Ukrainian side to hand over their relevant materials under the Dutch jurisdiction.
He added that if any Ukrainian citizens are among the suspects, they will not be extradited to the Netherlands, since Ukraine’s Constitution prohibits such move. That is, such suspects, if any, will testify in a Dutch court via a videoconference. They will be sentenced by a Dutch court and later choose whether they wish to serve their sentence in a Dutch or Ukrainian prison. At the same time, according to Yenin, if there are Russian citizens among the suspects who are detained on the territory of Ukraine, they can be extradited to the Netherlands.
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.
Read alsoBellingcat: No doubt MH17 downed by Russian Buk missileThe 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 of 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.
July 7, 2017, Ukraine and the Netherlands signed an agreement on the establishment of legal grounds for the consideration of the said case.