The MH17 crash trial will resume, as planned, on June 8 at the Schiphol Guards in the Netherlands, but there will be a limited number of people attending the hearing regarding the situation with COVID-19, the Hague District Court said in a statement.
“As planned, the hearing of the criminal case MH17 will resume on Monday, June 8. However, due to the coronavirus and related national measures, adjustments will be made to the upcoming block of court hearings. So, a limited number of people will be able to attend the hearing at the Schiphol Court Complex”, – the court said in a statement released on Friday.
In addition to judges, clerks and prosecutors, a maximum of two relatives’ lawyers, two defense representatives and a limited number of media representatives will be present in the courtroom. A public gallery above the courtroom will be reserved for a limited number of relatives. The press center will be closed. However, people with mild symptoms of a cold or a high fever will not be allowed into the Schiphol building.
The court recalled that the Schiphol complex was reserved for the MH17 hearing from June 8 to July 3, 2020.
“It is still unknown whether the court will sit every day. Circumstances may require that hearings be shortened, postponed, suspended or even canceled”, – the department added.
The first court hearings in the MH17 crash case took place on March 9-10 in the specially protected Schiphol complex near Amsterdam.
Malaysian Boeing, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur by flight MH17, crashed on July 17, 2014 near Donetsk. Onboard were 298 people, all of them died. Kiev accused the militias of the disaster, they said they did not have the means to bring down the aircraft at such a height.
Four people are involved in the case – the Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and the Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. Pulatova at trial is represented by an international group consisting of two Dutch and one Russian lawyer. The remaining suspects are tried in absentia.
The Joint Investigative Group (SSG), which, under the leadership of the Netherlands Prosecutor General’s Office without the participation of the Russian Federation, is investigating the circumstances of the crash, previously presented interim results. The investigation claims that Boeing was shot down from the Buk anti-aircraft missile system, which belonged to the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces from Kursk.
According to RIA Novosti, Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Nikolai Vinnichenko, the Russian side transmitted to the Netherlands not only the data of Russian radars, but also documentation indicating that the Buk air defense missile that hit the Boeing belonged to Ukraine, and it was fired from Kiev-controlled territory, however, investigators ignored this information. At the same time, on the first day of the court hearing, the prosecution acknowledged that it had received and is studying the data of the Russian prosecutor’s office.LPR says Kiev deploys armored vehicles in Donbass