7th anniversary of downing of MH17: Foreign ministers of JIT countries release joint statement
On the seventh anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), the foreign ministers of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine, whose countries comprise the Joint Investigation Team, released a joint statement.
"While nothing can bring back those who lost their lives, or diminish the anguish and grief suffered by the family members, it is imperative that we remain steadfast in our commitment to pursuing truth, justice, and accountability. We acknowledge the cooperation of our respective investigative agencies and reiterate our full support for their efforts to establish the truth of what happened. We also have full confidence in the independent, open, and impartial criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators.
We reiterate our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and loved of the victims of the downing of Flight MH17," reads the statement posted on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
As reported, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over occupied area of Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died. The international Joint Investigation Team reported that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.
On June 19, 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic"; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called "Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People's Republic"; Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic.
In March 2020, the District Court of The Hague began the consideration of the case over the downing of Flight MH17.