In Amsterdam, in the case of the Malaysian Boeing MH17 shot down over Ukraine, the second stage of the preliminary hearings ended. The charge was brought against three Russians and one Ukrainian. The investigation considers proved guilty Igor Girkin-Strelkov, who called himself the "Minister of Defense "of the DPR, his subordinates Dubinsky and Pulatov, and a citizen of Ukraine Harchenko. None of the defendants was in court, and only one of them - Oleg Pulatov - was represented by lawyers. All defendants deny their guilt and express doubts about the legitimacy of the Dutch court.
Prosecutors submitted to the court the results of an investigation conducted by the JIT international investigation team . Numerous examinations were made, the wreckage of the aircraft was studied, the bodies of the victims were examined, and telephone conversations provided by the Ukrainian intelligence service to the SBU were analyzed. The investigation is sure that on July 17, 2014 the Boeing was shot down by a missile of the Buk air defense system, brought from Russia, from the territory controlled by the separatists, not far from the village of Pervomaisky, Donetsk Region. This conclusion did not become news, but the amount of information processed by the group indicates the gigantic work of investigators. To find the truth, they attracted military and civilian experts who for five years analyzed the voices recorded on tape, radar data, evaluated the accuracy of video materials and photographs, calculated the trajectory of the rocket that hit the plane, and hundreds of witnesses were questioned. DW gives one example of the hard work of the group: it turned out that one of the wheels of the "Buk" was different from the rest. This made her unique. Investigators requested the Russian Federation where this installation is located. Russia did not respond to the request.
Lawyers for the Russian Oleg Pulatov said they could not personally meet with their client because of the coronavirus. However, most of the applications were submitted from them. Lawyers expressed doubt about the reliability of the examinations and the results obtained and sent petitions for re-interrogation of witnesses and analysis of the data. Other parties called the tactics in the process a drag, although the Russian defenders denied this. However, the court agreed with the proposal to bring in a representative of Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of Bukov, as a witness. The defense insisted on a different version of the disaster and asked to check whether the Boeing could have been shot down by a Ukrainian military aircraft. Video clips of RT and Air Force channels were presented as evidence , in which people represented by residents of Donbass told that they saw one or two Ukrainian military aircraft immediately before and during the crash. Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhays deferred most of Pulatov's lawyers' petitions to fall. The judge hopes that they will be able to justify in more detail the request for an additional investigation and talk with their client. The process will continue on August 31 and will last 2 months.
The Bellingcat investigation platform said that, according to their information, the Joint Investigation Team will continue its work. Investigators hope to establish direct executors of the rocket launch and give the names of the Russian military who sent the unit to Ukraine.