The court confirms that the plane was shot down by a Russian missile
A court in the Netherlands has sentenced three of the four accused of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 to life imprisonment and has confirmed that the plane was hit by a Russian-made 'Buk' missile. that it would have been launched from a territory located in Pervomaisk, in the Lugansk region.
The court has held that Russian defendants Igor Girkin and Sergei Dubinsky, as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, are guilty of the murder of 298 people by participating in the supply, deployment and removal of the 'Buk' system used to bring down the aircraft.
The fourth suspect, Oleg Pulatov, a Russian citizen, has been acquitted since it has not been possible to prove that he gave orders to fire the missile, according to information from the newspaper 'Algemeen Dagblad'.
In addition, the judges have explained that they will have to compensate the relatives of the victims. "Suffering cannot be expressed in money. 290 people filed claims for damages of between 40,000 and 50,000 euros. Girkin, Dubinsky and Jarchenko are sentenced to pay compensation of more than 16 million euros," they have pointed out.
The Prosecutor's Office had requested life imprisonment sentences for the four men, but finally they have only been handed down in three of the cases. The practical application of these penalties seems distant, insofar as Russia has ruled out extradition and, in fact, has only been represented in the Pulatov trial, through its lawyers.
Previously, the judges had confirmed that the missile that hit the aircraft was a 'Buk' that was launched from a farm and left 283 passengers and fifteen crew members dead, as explained by Judge Hendrik Steenhuis.
The judges have thus concluded that there is ample evidence that supports the hypothesis that the missile was Russian and was launched from said territory, which would then be under the control of pro-Russian forces.
Although the Netherlands and Australia have admitted that "holding a country accountable is a complex legal process", they do consider that Moscow is responsible for the incident because of the "role" it played. However, the authorities have always denied any connection to the Malaysia Airlines plane tragedy.