Dutch prosecutors have charged three Russians and one Ukrainian with murdering 298 people in the case concerning the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines 777 jet over Ukraine.
A Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) carefully combed over evidence for nearly five years, carefully constructing a timeline of events and performing extended research at the crash site.
Named suspects include:
- Igor Girkin – a former colonel in Russia’s intelligence service and Minister of Defense in Donetsk, Ukraine (rebel-held territory MH17 was shot down)
- Sergei Dubinsky – deputy of Girkin
- Oleg Pulatov – deputy head of the intelligence service in Donetsk
- Leonid Kharchenko – Ukranian who led a combat unit suspected of actaully firing the missile
Russia Dismisses Charges
But the chance of these men ever facing justice is slim.
Russia still denies that its anti-aircraft missile systems were used to shoot down the jetliner. It dismisses the latest charges as “absolutely threadbare”. Instead, it says the charges are purely “aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation in the eyes of the international community.”
Furthermore, Article 61 of the Russian Constitution does not allow extradition. Even if it wanted to, the Russian government could not send these men to The Netherlands for trial.
Girkin, reached in Russia, also issued a denial:
I can only say that militia did not shoot down the Boeing.
The case will go on, with the suspects tried in absentia. While the perpetrators of the attack may not face justice, the trial will seek to clearly and definitively expose the truth of what happened over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.