Four people will face prosecution over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, five years after the plane crashed in eastern Ukraine killing 298 people including 80 children.
Flight MH17 was shot out of the sky over territory held by pro-Russian separatists as it flew from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in July 2014. An international arrest warrants was issued Wednesday for four suspects: Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov and the Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. Girkin is a former colonel of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), Dubinskiy was employed by Russia's military intelligence agency GRU and Pulatov was a former soldier of the Russian special forces, Spetsnaz-GRU. Kharchenko had no military background.
They will not be extradited because the Russian and Ukrainian constitution prohibits extraditing nationals. The suspects are not accused of firing the missile, but are "just as punishable as the person who committed the crime," Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke declared. they are suspected of obtaining the Buk missile "with the goal to shoot the plane." „Though from the very start, from the very first days of this tragedy, Russia showed initiative, was actively trying to become a part of this investigation into this horrific disaster," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said. A court case will begin in the Netherlands on 9 March 2020. The suspects are innocent until the contrary is proven in court.