Prosecutors begin explaining indictment at MH17 trial

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Netherlands — Prosecutors on Monday started explaining proof and their indictment to judges within the homicide trial of three Russians and a Ukrainian charged with involvement in downing Malaysia Airways flight MH17 over japanese Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew.

Prosecutors are scheduled to take three days to stroll judges by means of the indictment at hearings in a top-security courtroom on the outskirts of Schiphol Airport — the departure level for the Boeing 777, which was heading for Kuala Lumpur when — in response to prosecutors and worldwide investigators — it was shot down.

“Right now we’re right here to do proper by the 298 victims of flight MH17,” public prosecutor Thijs Berger advised the court docket.

Monday’s listening to started towards a backdrop of hovering tensions between Moscow and the West over a Russian troop buildup close to Ukraine that has drawn fears of an invasion. Moscow has denied plans to assault its neighbor, however demanded the West present a set of authorized ensures precluding the growth of NATO to Ukraine and different Russian neighbors and the deployment of the alliance’s weapons there, a requirement NATO has rejected.

“Figuring out the reality on this case might also contribute to averting new violence sooner or later,” Berger advised the judges.

“In spite of everything, a world that makes no effort to establish the reality and to punish the responsible when a whole lot of harmless civilians are murdered is leaving its civilians as truthful sport,” he added. “And for that cause reality and lies must be distinguished and perpetrators must be punished. That’s our activity on this courtroom.”

Not one of the 4 suspects has appeared on the trial. Just one, Oleg Pulatov, has Dutch attorneys representing him in court docket. They are saying that he denies involvement.

The trial started in March final yr with the solemn studying of the names of all of the individuals who died when the aircraft shattered in midair and plunged to the bottom in agricultural fields in conflict-torn japanese Ukraine.

A world investigation into the crash concluded that MH17 was introduced down by a buk misssile that was trucked into Ukraine from a Russian army base. Investigators say the missile launcher then returned to Russia. Moscow denies involvement.

On Wednesday, prosecutors will inform judges what punishments they need for the 4 suspects. The utmost sentence is life imprisonment.

The listening to will then be adjourned till March, when protection attorneys for Pulatov will make their presentation to judges. Each side could make responses and last statements over the summer season and verdicts are anticipated earlier than the tip of subsequent yr.

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