Disinfo: The purpose of the Hague trial on MH17 is not to establish the true culprits

Summary

The District Court of The Hague refused to consider alternative versions of the crash of the MH17 flight in the Donetsk region in 2014 offered by the defence. This eloquently demonstrates that it is not the purpose of the Hague trial to establish the true culprits.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of Flight MH17 and against the MH17 criminal trial.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) concluded that the BUK missile system belonged to the Russian army and that the place from which the missile was launched was controlled by the separatists at the time. The JIT consists of investigators from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium, and Ukraine.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is prosecuting Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of MH17 and murdering the 298 persons on board. The trial began on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. The hearings are broadcasted in a video on the website of the trial.

On 13 November 2020, the Public Prosecution Service responded to the investigative wishes of the defence in the MH17 trial, the request for further investigation was denied for a number of reasons:

(1:53:52) The investigation has been already extensive and expensive. The JIT has spent years collecting so much data, investigating so many scenarios and following up so many mysterious paths that really there is not so much left to investigate in order to asses the guilt or innocence of the defendants. The result is a weighty file which the court has given adequate time to study and respond to. We already got in this file things that are important for defence. We have witnesses who say they saw a fighter jet, we see the Russian authorities denying all involvement of the 53rd brigade and we see code words in an intercepted phone call conversations. It is not easy for Pulatov to identify, we understand that but that can't be a reason to allow defendant to carry out its own investigation if he wants to have any impact on the court eventual decision. Many investigation requests should be declined because even after hearing from defence what relevant questions could be asked to the witnesses or experts being requested, and it should not be asked for an information that is already on file. And there is also another point: in setting up interview with people we already know we cannot find. Let alone people who already died. In a criminal case we must observe the rules of criminal procedure that is to say; the equality and legal certainty. Pulatov has still opportunity to put his side of the case, for example, back in July he was put in a position to nominate a person of his own choice to investigate.

Read also similar stories: MH17: JIT ignores Russian contributions, JIT's goal was not to establish facts but to substantiate accusations against Russia, MH17 tribunal is a politically motivated process against Russia and DNR.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 223
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/11/2020
  • Outlet language(s) French, Russian, English, Spanish, Castilian, German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Malaysia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, MH17
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