Published: Thu, July 06, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Netherlands To Host Trial For Suspects Who Shot Down MH17 Over Ukraine

Netherlands To Host Trial For Suspects Who Shot Down MH17 Over Ukraine

The countries "decided that the suspects should be prosecuted in the Netherlands, a process that will be rooted in ongoing global cooperation and support", Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders said in a statement.

A Dutch court will try those suspected of involvement in shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over separatist-held eastern Ukraine nearly three years ago, the Netherlands announced on Wednesday. Most of the dead were Dutch nationals.

In the hours and days after the disaster, Russian media broadcast freaky conspiracy theories about MH17, including speculation that Ukraine had targeted the airliner thinking it was Vladimir Putin's presidential jet; that it was a spy plane; and that it was filled with dead bodies and crashed intentionally to discredit Russia and its separatist proxies.

The Dutch investigation pinned the plane attack on pro-Russian separatists who had made well-documented phone conversations with Russian officials, requesting a missile launching system the day before MH17 went down. 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.

Investigators building the criminal case said that about 100 people were involved in the launch of the missile.

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The announcement on Wednesday clarified the plan for prosecutions.

The Boeing B777 aircraft, which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and carrying 298 passengers and crew, was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The Russian government could refuse to extradite any of its citizens for eventual questioning or prosecution.

Australia is one of five members of the MH17 Joint Investigation Team investigating the disaster, along with the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Malaysia had proposed setting up an worldwide court to try those responsible for the plane's destruction, but Russian Federation vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution in favor of a tribunal.

Russian military said data from radar in the south of Russia shows the missile used against Flight 17 didn't come from rebel-controlled territory.

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