Lawyers, who represent the relatives of the passengers and crew members of MH17 downed over Donbas at the trial in the Netherlands, were offered protection by law enforcement officers after surveillance reports.

As the Dutch media outlet RTL Nieuws informs, several defence lawyers reported being followed home from the Schiphol court building, where the MH17 case is being heard. Lawyers also saw suspicious men near their houses.

Eight members of the team of lawyers, representing the relatives of the victims, were invited to the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) in late September. During the big presentation, NCTV stated that Russia tried in various ways to hinder and intimidate lawyers. The coordinator then suggested involving lawyers in the security program. A total of four incidents were reported.

“In general terms, all parties concerned with the trial are aware of physical and digital threats. We never comment on specific security measures,” Dutch national anti-terrorism agency NCTV spokesperson Anna Sophia Postumus told Reuters.

According to RTL Nieuws, law enforcement officials said they did not expect physical violence against lawyers. Lawyers did not comment on the situation in a conversation with journalists.

Bohdan Marusyak

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