Published: Wed, June 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Four suspects to face murder charges for downing of MH17 - relatives

Four suspects to face murder charges for downing of MH17 - relatives

MH17 was shot out of the sky on 17 July 2014, over territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine asit was flying from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Worldwide investigators are on Wednesday expected to announce charges against several suspects in the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine five years ago in an attack which killed all 298 people on board.

Worldwide investigators are holding a press briefing in Amsterdam to present their latest findings on the MH17 case. The investigation team was formed by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

Investigative website Bellingcat on Wednesday that a number of Russian military and intelligence officers were identified as suspects along with separatists.

The Netherlands said it would study the information but added that details previously provided by Russian Federation - such as the alleged presence of a Ukrainian jet near the airliner on radar images - were incorrect.

Australia and the Netherlands said a year ago that they hold Russian Federation legally responsible for the shootdown and have said they will seek reparations. 196 of those killed were Dutch nationals.

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Charges against the four will be brought after their names are made public by the Joint Investigation Team, Zerkal said.

The development comes a year after the same team concluded that the missile which shot down the plane came from a Russian military brigade based in Kursk.

Once the names and charges have been announced, the next step would be to attempt to put the accused on trial.

Chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said all four suspects were responsible for bringing the BUK-M1 missile launcher into a field in Pervomaisky, eastern Ukraine, where the missile was sacked from.

Russian Federation insisted past year that the missile was sacked by Kiev's forces, adding that it was sent to Ukraine in the Soviet era and had not been returned to Russian Federation.

Moscow denies all involvement and maintains that it does not support, financially or with equipment, pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukrainian government troops.

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