The Hague court hearings on the 2014 Malaysia MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine could last for six months, the lawyer of one of the defendants, Elena Kutina, said on Sunday.
"The schedule of court hearings has been officially announced, they are scheduled for March, June and even in the fall. Of course, this will be a long process - there is a complicated charge and a large number of materials," Kutina said, adding that only lawyers would go to court, without the defendants themselves.
In June 2019, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) named Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov, as well as Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko as suspects in the case.
The Boeing plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on 17 July 2014, in Ukraine's crisis-torn Donbas region, leaving no survivors. Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics in Donbas have blamed each other for the incident, while the JIT claims that the aircraft was downed by a Buk missile that belonged to the Russian armed forces.
Moscow has submitted documents proving that the missile originated from Ukraine and called the investigation biased, while the Kremlin has repeatedly said that Russia rejects any allegations of being involved in the tragedy.