Life sentence for two Russians and a Ukrainian for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014

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After two years of research, this Thursday a dutch court has convicted three men associated with Russian intelligence services for murder the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight HM17 on July 17, 2014. In the accident, which took place during the pro-Russian separatist uprising in the Donbas region of Ukraine 298 passengers died and the crew on board. A fourth suspect has been cleared.

As stated in the sentence, the judge understands that the three are responsible for shoot the Buk missile that collided with the Boeing 777 that was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Likewise, the verdict indicates that the projectile Russian-made era and was launched from a farm near Pervomaisk.

[La crisis del Donbás: ocho años de enfrentamientos y más de 14.000 muertos]

Therefore, the court has issued a life sentence for the three convicted, two of them Russian citizens and a Ukrainian citizen. In addition, they are forced to pay at least 16 million euros in compensation to the relatives of the victims.

The defendants never attended the trial and are currently escapeesaccording to the news agency Reuters. Although it can still be appealed, this ruling points directly to the Kremlin, which has always defended not being part of the 2014 conflict and has claimed not to control pro-Russian fighters in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Also, the ruling sets a precedent for possible prosecutions of Russian crimes during the current war in Ukraine.

For its part, Moscow has once again denied responsibility for the downing of MH17. This same Thursday, in a briefing, the deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ivan Nechaev, said in statements collected by Reutersthat the Government “will study the decision” because “in all these issues, every nuance matters.”

According to New York Timesthe court identifies as guilty Igor Girkinformer colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service already Sergey Dubinsky, former Russian military intelligence officer. Also the ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko he was found guilty of murder and the shooting down of the plane. the fourth man, Oleg Pulatovalso a former Russian military intelligence officer, was acquitted on the grounds that he was not sufficiently involved in the episode.

The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, has not been slow to rule on the court ruling. This same Thursday he indicated in a tweet that he is “important” hold the guilty to account because “the feeling of impunity leads to new crimes”. “We must dispel this illusion. Punishment for all Russia’s atrocities then and now is inevitable,” she added.

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