External hearing in MH17 case held first time at plane reconstruction site / Photo from UNIAN

An external hearing in the case of the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has been held for the first time at the plane reconstruction site in the Netherlands.

It was a tour of a hangar at the Gilze-Rijen Air Base in the south of the Netherlands on Wednesday, May 26, according to UATV English.

Read alsoICC to make final ruling in MH17 case by late 2023 – mediaJudges were able to inspect the partially restored aircraft body, pieced together from wreckage recovered from the crash site in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, and assess the damage. Later, prosecutors and lawyers will conduct their assessment.

During the review of the wreckage, the judges particularly examined the damaged fuselage, as well as cockpit and other parts of the aircraft.

Background

  • 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 (JIT) 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 MH17 trial process began on March 9, 2020.