Dutch Prosecutors to Seek Sentences for MH17 Suspects This Week

Dutch prosecutors would set out their sentencing demands for four men on trial in absentia over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine in 2014.

Prosecutors would also formally present the indictment within the three days of hearings from Monday, charging the men with the murders of all 298 people on board flight MH17.

According to international investigators, MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when a missile fired from a pro-Russian rebels territory during a clash with Ukrainian government troops shot the plane down.

The four suspects who have refused to attend the trial in the Netherlands were Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko.

If found guilty of helping supply the missile system used to fire a rocket at the passenger jet, the suspects could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. 

Earlier this year, the trial heard heartbreaking testimonies from relatives of the victims who spoke of the pain of losing children, parents, and siblings and called on Russia to provide justice.

However, Moscow denied involvement and has suggested a range of alternative theories, which the international investigators rejected as unsupported by evidence.

A verdict would be handed down late next year.


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