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Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission and aviation experts are working at the crash site of the Malaysian Boeing 777  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Day One of Court Hearings on MH17 Case

The MH17 criminal trial is set to start at the District Court of The Hague, which will conduct the hearings at the Schiphol Judicial Complex on Monday to prosecute four suspects over alleged responsibility for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The Boeing plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on 17 July 2014, in Ukraine's crisis-torn Donbass region, leaving no survivors. Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass have blamed each other for the incident.

The crash is being investigated by the Dutch-led JIT, which operates without the participation of Moscow. The JIT claims that the aircraft was downed by a Buk missile originating from the Russian armed forces.

Russia has rejected the claim as baseless and argued that the missile belonged to Ukrainian troops. President Vladimir Putin accused investigators of shutting his country out of the inquiry and warned that it would not accept their findings unless it was fully involved in the process.

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17:35 GMT 09.03.2020

AMSTERDAM (Sputnik) - Dutch prosecutors have looked into the information provided by Russia for the case of downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse said on Monday.

"We have taken into account the information that Russia provided to the Joint Investigation Team or voiced at its press conferences. It has been studied over the course of the investigation," Ferdinandusse said at the MH17 trial began at the Schiphol judicial complex in Amsterdam.

The international probe alleged that the plane had been shot down by a missile that came from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, based near Russia's city of Kursk.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the JIT's accusations, saying that the claims were unfounded and the investigation was biased. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has not been granted access to the investigation and that Moscow would be able to recognize its results only if it is given access to the probe.

The flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines crashed on July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine while en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard were killed. Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s easternmost Donbass region, where the plane was shot down, have exchanged blame for the incident. The investigation into the MH17 crash is being conducted by Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT). Russia conducted its own investigation and said it had provided the JIT with evidence, including radar data, showing that the plane had been shot down by a Ukrainian Buk missile.

15:48 GMT 09.03.2020
14:46 GMT 09.03.2020

Independent Dutch journalist Max van der Werff's materials claiming that Buk missile systems were absent from the area close to the MH17 airliner crash site in Ukraine may be included in case files, Judicial Spokeswoman Marijke Knijff said on Monday.

In February, the journalist published on his own website an article that analyzed the contents of four documents of the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team's (JIT) leaked on behalf of Bonanza Media. One of them is a September 2016 letter from the Dutch Military Information and Investigation Service (MIVD) addressed to the public prosecutor at the National Prosecutor’s Office on Counter Terrorism where the MIVD could not find any Buk missile systems, belonging to either Russia or Ukraine, that was in range to shoot down the airplane.

According to the spokeswoman, even at a later stage, new documents can be attached to the case, including requests from defendants and their lawyers. At the moment, it is still unclear whether this article will be included in the case files. But if the document that was leaked has already been included in the case file or added to it at the request of the defendant, it may become part of the case, the spokeswoman added.

14:30 GMT 09.03.2020

Russian national Oleg Pulatov, one of the four accused in the MH17 case, completely denies any responsibility for the downing of the MH17 flight.

"Pulatov said that he did not take any part in the downing. He says that he does not have anything to do with this case, and that's why he requires a defence," his Dutch lawyer said.  

11:05 GMT 09.03.2020

“Currently, 49 people have expressed a desire to appear in court; 82 wished to submit a written declaration to the court, 84 - to apply for monetary compensation. These figures are preliminary. The right to appeal to the court will depend on a substantive examination of the case materials,” the chairman of the court said.

11:00 GMT 09.03.2020
09:37 GMT 09.03.2020

Hearings have begun on the 2014 Malaysia MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, at the District Court of The Hague at the Schiphol Judicial Complex.

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