Five years after MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine, international investigators announced on Wednesday the charges against four people for murder and causing the crash.
What We Know:
- The flight was on its way from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in July 2014, when it was hit by a Russsian-made Buk missile, causing it to fall apart in mid air and killing 298 people.
- The Joint Investigation Team said that it would issue arrest warrants for three Russians, Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, along with Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
- According to BBC News, Girkin is a former colonel of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Dubinskiy was employed by Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU and Pulatov was a former soldier of the Russian special forces, Spetsnaz-GRU. Kharchenko is believed to have led a combat unit in Donetsk in July 2014.
- Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said the suspects are not accused of firing the missile, but are “just as punishable as the person who committed the crime.”
- The suspects can’t be extradited because the Russian and Ukrainian constitution prohibits extraditing nationals. Instead, investigators say they would ask both countries to work with them in questioning the suspects about the charges.
The trial of the four men will take place on March 9, 2020 at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in Badhoevedorp.