Court finds three defendants in MH17 case guilty


The District Court of The Hague found three people guilty of the crash of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in the Donbas on July 17, 2014.

The court’s decision was announced by presiding judge Hendrik Steinhaus at the Schiphol law complex. Two citizens of Russia and one Ukrainian were found guilty – Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko. Another defendant, Russian Oleg Pulatov, was found not guilty by the court.

“Pulatov is innocent of both facts on which he was suspected. Therefore, the demand of the prosecutor’s office (to find him guilty) is rejected,” the judge announced.

With regard to Girkin, Dubinsky and Kharchenko, the court recognized that the accusations against them were “legitimate and evidentiary”.

“They jointly caused the plane to crash, endangering the life of others and the death of 298 people – they are responsible for the death of 298 times. It’s legal and proven. Girkin, Dubinsky and Kharchenko are found guilty,” Steinhouse said.

Hearings in the case lasted two and a half years, starting on March 9, 2020. Charges were brought under two articles of the Dutch Criminal Code – for causing the crash of flight MH17, in which 298 passengers died (art. 168), and for the murder of 298 passengers of flight MH17 (art. 289).

The prosecutor’s office demanded a life sentence. The court granted this requirement. Also, Girkin, Dubinsky and Kharchenko must pay 16 million euros in compensation to the families of the victims.