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Former "Defense Minister" of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR") and an allegedly-retired GRU officer Igor Girkin, nom de guerre Strelkov, has said he is not going to testify in the Dutch-led trial of the MH17 downing case.

"I don't recognize the charges pressed against me and I don't accept that these people are competent to charge me," Strelkov told the Russian Interfax news agency.

Answering a question about his readiness to testify in the case, Strelkov said: "Not ready, even if I had been taken there by force."

Read alsoDutch prosecution serves charges on four MH17 defendants – media

As UNIAN reported earlier, the prosecutor's office of the Netherlands brought in an indictment against four persons involved in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing MH17 flight over Donbas in 2014.

UNIAN memo. Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Russia-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. On June 19, 2019, JIT investigators accused four Russia-controlled military intelligence officers of involvement in a missile attack that shot down MH17.

The first four suspects in the MH17 case 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 a leader of the "reconnaissance battalion" of Russia-led forces. The trial of those suspects in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing should begin on March 9, 2020.