W/S Press room, Nieuwegein
SOT, Fred Westerbeke, Chief Prosecutor from Dutch National Prosecutor's Office (Dutch): "Based on the investigation of the Joint Investigations Team [JIT], we have decided to prosecute four suspects for downing flight MH17." *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
W/S Press room *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Fred Westerbeke, Chief Prosecutor from Dutch National Prosecutor's Office (Dutch): "The board has investigated the cause of the crash and concluded that the flight MH17 was shot from the eastern part of the Ukraine by a Buk missile from the 9M38 series. The investigation of the JIT also focused on - next to the question of what exactly happened on the 17th of July 2014 - the question 'who was responsible for that crime?'" *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
C/U Journalist asking question *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Wilbert Paulissen, Dutch police (Dutch): "In the past five years, we were able to decrease the number of persons that we were investigating throughout the years. The investigation consisted of the forensic investigation; finding and interrogating witnesses and experts; the analysis of radar and satellite images; evaluating big quantities of telecom data, such as recorded phone conversations; and also the analysis of big data. The area of investigation in the eastern Ukraine is still inaccessible for the research team. This, of course, leads to the fact that we haven't been able to accomplish certain investigative acts and that some other investigation took more time than usual." *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
W/S Press room *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Wilbert Paulissen, Dutch police (Dutch): "We've been able to acquire a lot of valuable telecom data from Ukraine along with other relevant information in the past year. And, as of this day, more than 50 detectives and a team of about 25 staff members of the Public Prosecution Bureau are working on the investigation." *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
M/S Table of speakers *CUTAWAY*
SOT, Wilbert Paulissen, Dutch police (Dutch): "Today, we will send out international arrest warrants for the first four suspects that we will prosecute. They will also be placed on national and international wanted lists. And, because of that, we will reveal their full names and we will show you their pictures. And the four persons are: Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov, and Leonid Kharchenko. Suspects Girkin, Dubinskiy and Pulatov have the Russian nationality, and our information points to the fact that they currently reside in Russia. Suspect Kharchenko has the Ukrainian nationality and we assume that he resides in Eastern Ukraine." *MULTIPLE SHOTS AT SOURCE*
Prosecutors in Nieuwegein announced on Wednesday that they were charging three Russians and a Ukrainian national with murder for their alleged role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July 2014.
The charges stem from a Dutch-led international investigation which has concluded that the plane was shot down by a Russian-made missile, reportedly on the basis of communications intercepts provided by Ukrainian intelligence services.
Russia has denied all accusations that it was involved in the crash, which resulted in the deaths of all 298 people on board, and has stated that while the Buk missile used to down the Boeing 777 was manufactured in Moscow in 1986, it was subsequently delivered to the Ukrainian Army and never returned.
The three Russian military officers accused with involvement were named as Oleg Pulatov, Igor Girkin, and Sergey Dubinskiy, with the Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko also being named, and international arrest warrants have been issued for all four men.
Girkin was serving as Minister of Defence of the Donetsk People's Republic at the time with the other three men all working under him.
The Defence Ministry of the Donetsk People's Republic has denied the allegations that it was involved in the MH17 crash.
A prospective trial date of March 2020 was set by investigators.
Russia does not form part of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is made up of police and criminal justice authorities from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.
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