Netherlands: Families of Malaysia Airlines victims go to court

The Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down on 17 July 2014 by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine using a Buk surface-to-air missile. Nearly 200 Dutch people died, out of all 298 victims.

In June, a criminal trial began in the Netherlands, with three Russian citizens and one Ukrainian accused of shooting. The questioning of the relatives of the victims will begin next Monday. The court in Amsterdam, where the trial is taking place, has allocated three weeks for this.

“These are going to be exciting weeks” – reviews the RTL Nieuws portal. “This is a unique and historic event,” an expert from MH17 Legal Aid Team told Sander de Lange, noting that not many people had previously expressed their views on criminal proceedings in the Dutch criminal justice system.

The first to appear on Monday was Peter van der Meer, who lost three daughters. “This is the last thing I can do for them,” said RTL Nieuws. The portal states that since 2005, relatives of victims can tell their story during the trial. De Lange explains that this shows the judges how the crime has had a profound impact on their lives. – Judges can take this into account in sentencing – says the expert.

The investigation team investigating the downing of this plane called on residents of the Russian city of Kursk, last Thursday, to share information about the accident. Experts ask for photos, videos, emails, and white papers.

The message about this is on the team’s website, and, according to the portal, it was also sent “to a group of people” in Kursk. It is also posted on Russian social media, informing the NOS portal.

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