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Three males given life sentences for taking pictures down flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014


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Two Russians and a Ukrainian had been sentenced to life in jail for inflicting the MH17 crash above the Ukrainian area of Donetsk in 2014, killing all 298 on board, The Hague District Court docket selected Thursday.

Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko had been discovered chargeable for the catastrophe, Presiding Choose Hendrik Steenhuis mentioned.

One other Russian nationwide, Oleg Polatov, was acquitted of the costs.

The court docket declared that Girkin, Dubinskiy and Kharchenko should additionally compensate the relations of the victims a complete of €60 million. Prosecutors and the defendants have two weeks to file an enchantment.

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The quartet on trial weren’t current within the courtroom. All at giant, they refused to attend the trial, which lasted two and a half years. 

Girkin, Dubinskiy and Kharchenko are unlikely to ever serve their sentences.

MH17 victims remembered by family members current at sentencing

The decision comes greater than eight years after the Malaysia Airways Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was blown out of the sky on 17 July 2014 amid a battle between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian forces.

The aircraft was struck by what the Dutch court docket established was a missile equipped by Moscow and broke up mid-air, scattering wreckage and our bodies over farmland and fields of sunflowers within the Ukrainian area of Donetsk. 

The MH17 crash is the deadliest plane crash attributable to weapons to this date, ensuing within the demise of all 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

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The flight was codeshared with the Dutch firm KLM. A complete of 193 victims had been Dutch nationals. Australian and Dutch groups had been in control of the investigation.

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Households of most of the victims had been current for the sentencing on Thursday, and a few blinked away tears as Steenhuis highlighted how their lives had been modified perpetually on that day.

Steenhuis described the torment of members of the family who needed to anticipate the stays of their relations. “A bit of bone from a hand. A bit of leg or a foot. In two instances, no elements of a liked one returned.”

The missile launcher is claimed to have come from the 53rd Anti-Plane Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces based mostly within the Russian metropolis of Kursk and was pushed again there after MH17 was shot down.

The court docket dominated that the three males – Russians Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko — labored collectively to convey the Buk missile system into Ukraine and convey it into place for its launch.

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“There is no such thing as a affordable doubt attainable,” Steenhuis mentioned, dismissing defence arguments that one thing may need occurred to the aircraft.

And even when the taking pictures down of MH17 may need amounted to a navy miscalculation, Steenhuis mentioned, “such an error didn’t change the intent.”

Zelenskyy hails ‘essential’ resolution, no remark from Moscow

Girkin is a 51-year-old former colonel in Russia’s Federal Safety Service, or FSB.

On the time of the downing, he was defence minister and commander of the armed forces of the self-proclaimed Moscow-backed Donetsk Folks’s Republic.

Girkin, an outspoken far-right nationalist, is reportedly concerned in Russia’s aggression on Ukraine.

The opposite three males who had been placed on trial are Girkin’s subordinates. Prosecutors say Kharchenko was commander of a pro-Russia separatist fight unit and took orders straight from Dubinskiy.

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Pulatov is the one one of many suspects who was represented by defence legal professionals on the trial, pleading not responsible on his behalf.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned the MH17 court docket resolution was a significant first step in assigning accountability for the crime, however he added that extra prosecutions and convictions had been wanted.

“It is a crucial resolution within the court docket in The Hague. … It’s mandatory that those that ordered it additionally discover themselves within the dock, as a result of impunity results in new crimes,” he mentioned on Twitter.

Moscow in the meantime mentioned the Dutch court docket’s resolution “uncared for impartiality”.

“We’ll examine this resolution. On all of those questions, each nuance has that means, subsequently after finding out this judicial doc, we might be able to touch upon it,” Russian International Ministry spokesman Ivan Nechaev mentioned.

The Dutch authorities mentioned on Friday it had summoned the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands over Moscow’s “completely despicable” response to the decision.


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