Correspondent in Brussels
More than ninety relatives of the victims of Malaysian airlines flight MH17, which shot down on July 17, 2014, are participating in the trial taking place in the courts of the Dutch city of Schiphol. The right to speak on behalf of crime victims was introduced in Holland at the beginning of 2005, as a measure so that they can face the consequences of the events more quickly. Those affected who have asked to intervene are mostly Dutch, but also people from all over the world and who will address the court in the coming weeks, some through a videoconference and others in person. This phase will last 10 days.
The trial formally began in March last year with numerous legal discussions, since the reconstruction of the events has been extremely laborious. Russian citizens Oleg Pulatov, Igor Girkin y Sergei Dubinsky, and the ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, are tried in absentia. Only one of them, Pulatov, has chosen to send a legal representative for his defense.
The Boeing 777 aircraft was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was shot down over an eastern part of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian rebels. An international investigation determined that the ship was attacked with a BUK missile that belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian army, based in the city of Kursk. The four suspects are accused of being key pieces in the connection with the separatist rebels in Ukraine.