Dutch Court Convicts Two Russians and One Ukrainian Separatist for Shooting Down MH17 | CNN

CNN — A Dutch court on Thursday sentenced two Russians and a separatist Ukrainian to mass murder for their involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. Former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) colonel Igor Gurkin was killed by Sergey Dubinsky, who worked for Russian GRU military intelligence, along with Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko, who is believed to have led a combat unit in Donetsk in July 2014. Dubinskiy) was convicted. More than 16 million euros, but none of them are likely to serve a sentence, as the victims’ convictions were handed down in absentia. The fourth suspect, Russian national Oleg Pulatov, a former soldier with the Russian special forces unit Spetsnaz-GRU, was acquitted. “It is a very serious accusation that resulted in the downing of Flight MH17 and the murder of all on board, the consequences are so devastating and the attitude of the accused is so reprehensible that a limited period of detention will not suffice,” the court said. said after the verdict. Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014 when it was shot down over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board were killed, including 15 crew members and 283 passengers from 17 countries. The downing of the jet occurred in the early stages of a conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, a precursor to Moscow’s all-out invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. After a two-year trial at Badhoevedorp’s highly secure Schiphol Judicial Complex, Thursday’s verdict is the first independent judgment in the case and may provide some justice to the families of the victims. The incident becomes even more important as we enter the ninth month of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. A legal expert told Reuters that the ruling could affect other cases involving Russia, including before the United Nations’ highest court, the International Court of Justice. The ruling comes weeks after Moscow tried to illegally annex four provinces in Ukraine, including one the court said the missile that shot down MH17 was launched eight years ago. There are also growing concerns that Russia’s attack on Ukraine could spread to neighboring countries just two days after the missiles landed on Poland. The court said Flight MH17 was hit by a Russian Buk missile fired from a farmland outside a town in eastern Ukraine that was controlled by pro-Russian rebels under Moscow control at the time, and the missile system was moved backwards. to Russia after the strike. Although the court ruled there was insufficient evidence to determine who fired the missiles, all three convicted played a key role in transporting the Buk system and its crew to Ukraine. Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court said firing the missile at MH17 was a premeditated action to bring down the plane. No one aboard the targeted aircraft will survive. “Buk weapon systems are designed to shoot down aircraft and cannot simply be used randomly. These deployments require preparation including determining and moving the launch site. Missile launches are technical procedures that require very careful and thoughtful consideration and highly trained crews. There is no chance that anyone aboard an aircraft will survive an attack by a Buk missile. Anyone deploying a special and expensive weapon like the Buk TELAR will know this,” the court said in a statement. The court also held that the defendants could not shoot down a military or civilian aircraft because they were not an official party to the dispute and therefore had no immunity from combat. Moscow has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attack, and Russian officials and state media have offered various, often contradictory, accounts of the tragedy. But on Thursday, Steenhuis cited various evidence for the court’s verdict and ruled out other explanations of the case. Evidence reviewed by the court included fragments of North Korean missiles lodged in aircraft, the bodies of some victims, intercepted phone calls and eyewitness statements, and video and images of North Korean systems and footage traveling from Russia to eastern Ukraine. And come back again. Convicted men have the right to appeal. Moscow described the verdict as “politically motivated” and said it would not extradite the sentenced Russians to the Netherlands. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the ruling as an important moment for accountability. “It is also important to explain what was behind it, as the feeling of impunity leads to new crimes,” he said. We must get rid of this illusion. punishment for all [Russia’s] Atrocities then and now are inevitable,” he tweeted. Secretary of State Anthony Blincoln said the United States welcomes the court’s decision, but there is more work to be done. “This is a solid step towards justice,” Blinken said in a statement, but in Resolution 2166, “Those responsible…

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