The Hague District Court sentenced three suspects to life imprisonment for their involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on 17 July 2014. As a consequence of this horrible crime, all 298 innocent people onboard, including 80 children, were killed.

In its verdict, the court states that the flight was shot down by Donetsk separatists in 2014. According to the court, the shots were fired from a Buk surface-to-air missile system placed in the village of Pervomayske, Donetsk region. At that time, the village was controlled by the “DPR.” According to the verdict, Igor Girkin and his subordinates Sergey Dubinskiy and Leonid Kharchenko are guilty of the crime. They are responsible for the death of 298 people.

“The verdicts of the court are a remarkable event in the context of the establishment of justice and the inevitability of punishment for the commission of crimes. It became possible due to constant and methodological work of dozens of investigators and prosecutors of the Joint Investigation Team, including Ukraine as its active participant,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed.

The diplomats added that the verdicts were also a sign that those who had made a decision and ordered the downing of the civilian aircraft would ultimately end up in the courtroom. The punishment of those perpetrators is inevitable.

Apart from individuals, the Russian Federation as a state shall be brought to account. The transfer of the Buk system to terrorists is an obvious breach of international law, specifically, of the International Convention on Suppression of Financing of Terrorism.

The transfer of the deadly weapon to Ukraine is a key element of a Ukraine v. Russia lawsuit currently being considered by the International Court of Justice.

“Ukraine will continue coordinating efforts with its partners to establish truth and justice for the victims of the MH17 tragedy, as well as for their families, who continue to mourn the loss of their loved ones,” the Ministry summed up.

Natalia Tolub

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