Is Russia involved in MH17 downing

Trial of the shooting down of flight MH17 : Prosecutor accuses Moscow of "cynical disinformation campaign"

In the criminal process surrounding the shooting down of the Malaysian MH17 passenger plane over eastern Ukraine, the public prosecutor's office directed serious allegations against Russia. There are signs that the Russian government wants to obstruct the investigation, said public prosecutor Thijs Berger on Tuesday in the court in Badhoevedorp near Amsterdam.

The criminal case is to punish the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which crashed in the war zone in the summer of 2014. All 298 inmates, including 80 children, were killed. Four pro-Russian rebels are charged with 298 murders. You didn't appear in court.

Russia rejects responsibility

Prosecutor Dedy Woei-a-Tsoi openly accused Moscow of campaigning for disinformation. The Russian authorities have not yet taken a final stand on the course of the events of July 17, 2014. Instead, the results of the investigation would be called into question. "The cynical disinformation campaign about the fate of flight MH17, which has been running for over five years, is a heavy burden for many relatives," said the prosecutor.

Russia rejects responsibility for the air disaster, which is one of the worst in decades. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov again declined to comment on the process in Moscow because his country was not involved in the investigation.

Many witnesses remain anonymous for security reasons

An investigation into the case without the participation of Russia is hopeless, added the Russian diplomat Alexander Lukashevich. "There is a strong politicization, but a professional exchange on this topic is not possible," complained the representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Everyone involved is biased about Russia's role. Russia has always emphasized that it is interested in clarifying the truth in accordance with the UN Security Council.

Prosecutor Berger said that many witnesses remained anonymous in the exceptional case for security reasons. They would fear for their lives if their identities were to become known. In this context, he pointed to the involvement of security services such as the Russian domestic secret service FSB and the military foreign secret service GRU in murders in other countries.

Appeal to the accused to express their views

The four defendants are charged with having been involved in the deployment of a Buk-type air defense system brought from Russia to eastern Ukraine. A Russian-type rocket launched from the separatist area is said to have caused the plane to crash. Russia has come under fire because Moscow has been supporting the separatists to the best of its ability since the outbreak of war in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014.

The prosecution appealed to the accused to speak up and answer important questions from the investigators. Only the Russian Oleg Pulatov, who is said to have played a leading role in the secret service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic, can be represented in court by lawyers. He had let it be known that he was not responsible.

The trial was postponed to March 23 after the end of the second day of the session, the court announced. Initially planned meeting days in the current week do not take place. (dpa)

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