Three suspects involved in the MH17 case have officially been handed down life sentences by the District Court of The Hague. A fourth suspect has been acquitted.
The suspects were deemed co-perpetrators in the downing of the passenger plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014, writes the NOS.
The Malaysia Airlines flight flew over Eastern Ukraine while fighting occurred between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. Over 200 Dutch citizens were on board when the plane was shot down by a missile.
Played an essential role
The District Court of The Hague stated that the suspects played an essential role in firing the Buk missile that hit the plane, killing 298 people in total.
The perpetrators did not intend to hit a passenger plane, but rather assumed it was a military aircraft. Still, the actions were of criminal nature.
“Life in prison” — but not really
Firstly, two of the three people who were sentenced, Sergey Dubinskiy and Igor Girkin, are Russian. However, it is uncertain whether they will ever actually end up behind bars.
Why? Russia doesn’t allow its own nationals to be extradited.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the third suspect, Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, is also unknown, NU.nl reports.
There will still be some repercussions for the convicts. The court also ruled that the men must pay roughly €16 million in compensation to the next of kin of their victims.
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