09:35 GMT23 January 2021
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    The criminal trial over the MH17 crash resumed at the Schiphol Judicial Complex (JCS) in Badhoevedorp earlier today. Three Russian citizens (Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, and Oleg Pulatov) and one Ukrainian (Leonid Kharchenko) are accused of being responsible for the crash.

    The Dutch court has rejected a request from the defence lawyers to look into alternative versions of the 2014 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine, the presiding judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, stated on Wednesday. 

    "This request has to be declined", the judge said at the hearing.

    The probes were requested by the legal team of one of the defendants, Russian national Oleg Pulatov.

    Flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014 amid a military conflict between self-proclaimed republics in the region and the government in Kiev that broke out following a violent coup earlier that year.

    All 298 passengers – mostly Dutch citizens – and crew on board died in the crash.

    Dutch Safety Board releases report into Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster
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    Dutch Safety Board releases report into Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster

    The accident is being investigated by Dutch prosecutors and the JIT (Joint Investigation Team), who claim that the plane was hit by a Buk missile that belonged to the Russian Armed Forces, something that Moscow has denied. Russia has repeatedly stressed that the probe is biased: for example, when Moscow provided evidence showing that the plane had been shot down by a Ukrainian Buk missile, proven using radar data, the information was ignored by the investigators.

    At the same time, Ukraine has failed to provide any primary radar data, claiming that "the radar was not operating at that moment". Moreover, leaked documents from the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) showed that Ukrainian missile systems were deployed closer to the scene of the incident than any Russian ones, with the plane being out of their range.

    In 2018, the JIT released a report claiming that the missile that shot down MH17 had been launched by DPR forces and that the Buk launcher had been delivered from Russia. Moscow stated that the probe was politically motivated and noted that the team had based its claims on unverified social media photos and videos, as well as assertions made by the Ukrainian government.

    Ukraine, Netherlands, Russia, flight MH17, MH17 crash, MH17 Crash, MH17, MH17
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