Germany Welcomes Decision to Hold MH17 Crash Trial in Netherlands

Germany Welcomes Decision to Hold MH17 Crash Trial in Netherlands

Germany Welcomes Decision to Hold MH17 Crash Trial in Netherlands

The suspects who allegedly shot down Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight in 2014 will be prosecuted under Dutch law in a court in the Netherlands.

Flight 17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was knocked out of the sky, whilst Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian troops fought. Most were Dutch citizens.

The criminal investigation is still ongoing and it's unknown when the trial will start.

The Joint Investigation Team, led by prosecutors and police from the Netherlands, made its preliminary findings public after interviewing more than 200 witnesses, listening to 150,000 intercepted phone calls, examining half a million photos and video recordings, consulting radar and satellite images, and sifting through dozens of containers filled with wreckage from the jet.

All 298 people on board were killed as they and debris from the plane were scattered across several kilometres of fields and villages.

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Russian Federation disputes those findings and accuses the JIT of ignoring evidence in their determination to blame Moscow for the tragedy. Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the Netherlands would continue to work with the other countries during the "prosecution phase" and that the trial would cover all of the victims.

The investigation was also hampered by "a great deal of disinformation and attempts to discredit the investigation". "MH17 has shown how a shared tragedy can lead to close worldwide co-operation and a determination to see that justice is done".

The Netherlands sought to form a United Nations tribunal, but Russian Federation, which denies any involvement in the tragedy, rejected that approach as politicized. Ukraine and the Netherlands will sign a treaty on Friday to allow criminal prosecutions to be transferred to Dutch courts, the justice ministry said in astatement.

No suspects have yet been named.

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