Dutch Court Will Not Deliver Verdict For MH17 Case Defendants In 2021 - Judge

AMSTERDAM (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th April, 2021) The District Court of The Hague does not plan to pronounce sentences for the defendants in the MH17 crash case before the end of the year, as much work is yet to be done, judge Maria Kneif said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard died. In 2019, the Dutch-led team of investigators released the Names of the four suspects: Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko.

"Several blocks [of hearings] are still scheduled for this year. And some of these blocks extend to 2022 ... So no sentences are expected to be pronounced this year by the court. At this point all I can tell you that it will not be this year. When it will be - we have to wait and see, because a lot of work still remains, much needs to happen," Kneif said.

According to the judge, the trial on the merits is scheduled to start on June 7. In September, relatives of the suspects will presumably have an opportunity to exercise their right to address the court.