WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Three suspects involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that killed 298 have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
- The Dutch court has determined that the three suspects were responsible for using a Russian missile for the strike.
- A fourth suspect was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
Three men were sentenced to life imprisonment after they were found guilty of downing the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
The Malaysian plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down over eastern Ukraine.
The Dutch court also determined that a Russian missile was used for the strike.
According to Reuters, the presiding judge, Hendrik Steenhuis said, “The court is of the opinion that MH17 was brought down by the firing of a BUK missile from a farm field near Pervomaisk, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members.”
Russians Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko were found to have worked together in transferring the Buk missile from a Russian military base into Ukraine.
Steenhuis added, “There is plentiful evidence” to support the belief that the missile was shot from a field in rebel-held territory. There is no reasonable doubt possible,”
During the strike, 51-year-old Girkin, a former colonel in Russia’s Federal Security, was the commander of the armed forces and defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic while Kharchenko served as a pro-Russia combat unit commander. The prosecutors also found out that Kharchenko also took direct orders from Dubinsky, the other Russian convicted in the case.
The court also believed that back in 2014, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic was under the control of Moscow.
Although there were four suspects in the case, only three were sentenced for the attack.
Russian Oleg Pulatov, the only suspect who was acquitted due to lack of evidence, insists that he is innocent.
He told the judges, “What matters to me is that the truth is revealed. It’s important for me that my country is not blamed for this tragedy.”
The three men who were sentenced can still appeal the decision of the court. All were not present at the ruling and were just represented by their lawyers.
Source: Fox News