Canada on the recent JIT MH17 development

Canada on the recent JIT MH17 development
MH17 (Jeroen Akkermans/Flickr)

Charges brought against three Russian citizens

On June 19, 2019, Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, issued a statement in support of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service’s indictments against three Russian citizens and one Ukrainian for the downing of MH17 flight over Donbas region on July 17, 2014.

In this document, she repeatedly condemns “this horrific act,” which killed all 298 passengers and crew, including one Canadian. At the same time, the minister expressed confidence in the criminal investigation led by the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, and in the Dutch criminal justice system. Chrystia Freeland concludes that by “bringing justice and accountability for the victims and their families” the Joint Investigation Team helps to “reinforce the rules-based international order.”

Earlier, on the same day, the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands, based on the investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team, named four suspects. Igor Girkin (former colonel of the Russian Federal Security Service, Minister of Defence and commander of the army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic), Sergey Dubinskiy (former military officer of the Russian military intelligence service, Head of the intelligence service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic), Oleg Pulatov (former military officer of the special units of the Russian military intelligence service, Deputy Head of the intelligence service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic) and Leonid Kharchenko (Ukrainian commander of a combat unit in the Donetsk region) allegedly “cooperated to obtain and deploy” a BUK missile system “at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft.” The Dutch Prosecution Service also issued international arrest warrants and brought charges against these people. The first day of trial is set on March 9, 2020, in the District Court of The Hague.

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