Britain calls on Russia to fully cooperate in MH17 probe
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called on Russia to cooperate fully with investigators following the announcement by the MH17 Joint Investigation Team and the Dutch National Prosecutor that they will charge four suspects with the murder of 298 people and causing the crash of flight MH17 over Donbas, eastern Ukraine.
"The Russian Federation must now cooperate fully with the prosecution and provide any assistance it requests in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2166. The charges brought against these individuals today show that the international community stands together against the impunity of those responsible for the despicable murder of 298 innocent people," Hunt said in a statement on June 19.
"The shooting down of MH17 nearly 5 years ago and the tragic deaths of the 298 people on board, including 10 British people, was a horrific crime. The family and friends of those who died deserve justice. Today marks a significant step towards ensuring that those responsible are held accountable," he said.
According to him, the UK offers its support to the prosecution process and has complete confidence in both the Joint Investigation Team and the Dutch criminal justice system. "I thank the Joint Investigation Team for their painstaking work to deliver justice for all the victims from 17 different countries who lost their lives that day," he said.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office called the MH17 crash "a shocking attack on the rules based international system which keeps our societies safe."
It says the UK continues to support Australia and the Netherlands in their call on the Russian Federation to accept state responsibility for the downing of MH17.
As UNIAN reported, Dutch Chief Prosecutor and Chairman of the Joint Investigation Team Fred Westerbeke said on June 19 that the trial of the suspects in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing over Donbas in the summer of 2014 would begin on March 9, 2020. The first four suspects in the MH17 tragedy are Russian terrorist Igor Girkin (AKA "Strelkov"), who in the summer of 2014 was the so-called "Minister of Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR"); Russian General Sergei Dubinsky (nom de guerre "Khmuryi"), who led the "DPR intelligence;" Oleg Pulatov (nom de guerre "Gyurza"), who in 2014 headed of "the 2nd division of the GRU of the DPR;" as well as Leonid Kharchenko (nom de guerre "Krot"), who was the leader of the "reconnaissance battalion" of Russia-led forces.