According to RIA Novosti, the court postponed the verdict for another year, explaining the decision by the large amount of work to be done.
“Several blocks of hearings are planned for this year, and they will last until 2022. Therefore, the court does not plan to pass sentences this year. At the moment, that's all I can say”, - the news agency quotes the judge's statement.
It is expected that the consideration of the case on the merits will begin in early June this year. Earlier, Russia participated in trilateral consultations with Australia and the Netherlands on the case of the deceased Boeing MH17, but after the court decided not to consider alternative versions of the disaster, in October 2020 the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Moscow's refusal to further consultations.
The diplomatic department explained this step as a "series of unfriendly actions on the part of the Netherlands", to which the Foreign Ministry, in particular, referred to the complaint filed by the Netherlands against Russia in the ECHR.
A plane crash involving a Malaysian Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur occurred in the skies over the Donetsk region of Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board were killed . Most of them were citizens of the Netherlands.
The investigation believes that the civilian airliner was shot down from the Russian Buk missile system belonging to the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade stationed in Kursk. In Russia, these accusations are denied.
Among the suspects in the case are Russians Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Oleg Pulatov, Sergei Dubinsky and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
Pulatov was the only one of all the accused who expressed a desire to appear in court and talk about his participation in the military operation in Donbass. Igor Girkin, who in 2014 was the most famous of the "field commanders" fighting in Donbass, noted that he was not going to participate in the court, he does not admit his guilt, but at the same time he still feels a certain moral responsibility for the death of civilians, since he commanded the militia and directly participated in the military conflict.
The trial was initially expected to end in March 2021. It is now known that meetings are scheduled even until November 2021, and the issue of compensation will be heard in court only in September 2021. But in July of this year, the need for Russia to recognize its responsibility in the crash of Boeing flight MH17 and full cooperation to identify the culprits was said in a statement by the High Representative of the European Union (EU).