Dutch Court Convicts Three MH17 Suspects, Acquits One

Crash site

A Dutch court has sentenced three Russia-linked men and acquitted one for their alleged roles in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Russians Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko “are found guilty” of murder and intentionally causing an aircraft to crash, while Russian Oleg Pulatov was not guilty, head judge Hendrik Steenhuis said on Thursday.

The verdict came eight years after the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was blown out of the sky over Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

At the time, pro-Russian separatist rebels and Ukrainian forces were locked in a tense conflict.

None of the suspects appeared for their trial, which began in March 2020.

It is unlikely the three men will serve their sentences anytime soon given they remain at large. Prosecutors and the suspects have two weeks to file an appeal.

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