Two Russians and a Ukrainian guilty of murder for the crash of flight MH17 | MH17 crash in Ukraine

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Two Russians and a Ukrainian man guilty of murder for the crash of flight MH17 | Écrash of flight MH17 in Ukraine

Two Russians and a Ukrainian have been found guilty in absentia and sentenced to life in prison by a Dutch court of murdering the 298 people who lost their lives in the 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

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A third Russian was acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence.

After a trial that lasted more than two years, Judge Hendrik Steenhuis ruled that the evidence presented by prosecutors showed that the Boeing 777 plane was indeed shot down by a missile fired by pro-Moscow Ukrainian rebels on July 17, 2014.

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None of the defendants appeared in court in this trial which began in March 2020. The suspects will have two weeks to appeal the verdict.

Cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 after it crashed in Ukraine. A Dutch court sentenced three of the four people accused in the tragedy on Thursday. The report by Lise Villeneuve.

The suspects were not charged with firing the missile, but rather with working to bring it into the field of ;where he was shot. They were accused of shooting down the plane and killing everyone on board – passengers and crew.

The oldest defendant is 51-year-old Igor Girkin, who is a former colonel in Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). At the time of the crash, he was Minister of Defense and Commander of the Armed Forces of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk, the region from where the plane was shot down. Girkin is currently believed to be involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

His subordinates Sergey Dubinskiy and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian who prosecutors say was a unit commander pro-Russian rebel fighter, were also found guilty.

Oleg Pulatovis, the only suspect who was acquitted, was represented by defense lawyers at the trial. They accused prosecutors of showing tunnel vision by basing their case on the findings of an international investigation into the crash while ignoring other possible causes.

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