Defence in MH17 Case Failed to Query Late Expert Who Had Info on Buk Missile System

© Sputnik / Alexey Kudenko / Go to the photo bankDutch experts work at Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site
Dutch experts work at Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
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SCHIPHOL, the Netherlands (Sputnik) - The defence team of Oleg Pulatov, who is on trial in the Netherlands for his alleged role in the crash of MH17 in Ukraine, missed the chance to question a late military expert who had information about the Buk missile system, which was purportedly used to shoot down the plane, Pulatov's lawyer told Sputnik.
The trial of four suspects in the case — Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Pulatov, as well as Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko — resumed on Monday at the Schiphol judicial complex near Amsterdam. During the court session, presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis said that one of the witnesses in the trial had died. The witness was an expert called in by Pulatov's defence.

"This witness was a military expert who shared [with us] information about the Buk missile system", Sabine ten Doesschate said on the sidelines of the trial, noting that the witness was questioned by the prosecution, after which his evidence was added to the case file.

© AFP 2022 / BULENT KILIC This photo taken on July 26, 2014 shows flowers, left by parents of an Australian victim of the crash, laid on a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in the Donetsk region.
This photo taken on July 26, 2014 shows flowers, left by parents of an Australian victim of the crash, laid on a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in the Donetsk region. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
This photo taken on July 26, 2014 shows flowers, left by parents of an Australian victim of the crash, laid on a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabove), in the Donetsk region.
Nevertheless, the defence does not know if the evidence will be used by the prosecutors.

"Depending on further statements by the prosecutor's office on the matter, we may contest the decision, as we did not have an opportunity to question him. It was extremely important to us. So, we are planning to raise the issue of whether we can now use this witness' statements, as we do not have an opportunity to question him anymore", the lawyer stressed.

Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines crashed on 17 July 2014, in eastern Ukraine while en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people on board were killed. Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region, where the plane was shot down, have blamed each other for the incident.
The investigation into the MH17 crash is being conducted by Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The international group of investigators claims that the plane was downed by a Buk missile belonging to the Russian armed forces, something Moscow categorically denies.
Russia conducted its own investigation and said it had provided the JIT with evidence, including radar data, showing that the plane had been shot down by a Ukrainian Buk missile.
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