In 2018, the Dutch authorities, coordinating the investigation into the case, found that a BUK missile from the 53rd Russian Air Defense Brigade stationed in a southern Russian city fired over eastern Ukraine from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. MTI wrote that 298 people on board were killed, including 196 Dutch.
The shooting is blamed on defecting militiamen in eastern Ukraine, all of whom are senior pro-Russian military officers.
According to the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office, the defendants – Sergei Dubinsky, Igor Girkin, a Russian citizen, and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian citizen – “were directly involved in the case, cruelly and baptized some hundreds of people, and therefore faced the harshest possible punishment.” The defendants were also accused of not cooperating with the investigation authorities, spreading false news about the shooting of the plane, and “behaving” with the relatives of the victims.
The trial takes place in the absence of the accused, who have all been denied responsibility. As Russia rejects the accusations, extradition appears unlikely. A final ruling in the case could be issued next spring.
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