Airliner-downing trial will be Dutch
PARIS — Any suspects in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 will be prosecuted in the Netherlands, the Dutch government announced Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement that the decision was made by the countries jointly investigating the crash — Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.
The statement says the countries will continue to cooperate on the prosecution, which will cover all 298 victims, who hailed from 17 countries. Most were Dutch citizens.
The Boeing 777, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was blown out of the sky on July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine amid fierce fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian troops.
An international criminal probe concluded last year that the missile that destroyed the passenger jet was fired from rebelcontrolled territory by a mobile launcher trucked in from Russia. Russia has denied any involvement and denounced the conclusions as politically biased.