Murder investigation

Trial over MH17 crash that killed Lux family continues

Investigators at the scene of the crash in 2014 that killed 298 people including a family from Luxembourg Photo: Shutterstock

Investigators at the scene of the crash in 2014 that killed 298 people including a family from Luxembourg Photo: Shutterstock

Prosecutors in the Netherlands have begun walking judges through their closing arguments in the murder trial of four men involved in the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, which killed 298 passengers, including a family from Luxembourg.

Pro-Russia separatists Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian native Leonid Kharchenko are on trial. None of the suspects have appeared at the trial so far, media report, though Pulatov has hired defence lawyers. Hearings are taking place in a “top-security courtroom on the outskirts of Schiphol Airport”, according to Euronews.  

The four suspects, who have denied the involvement, are accused of shooting down the Boeing 777 travelling to Kuala Lumpur on 17 July 2014 as it flew over the Ukraine, killing 298 passengers. The trial began in March 2020. In September this year, families of those killed testified. Proceedings should conclude before the end of next year.

Among the victims were Briton Andrew Hoare, 59, a banker working in Luxembourg at the time and living in Roeser, his Dutch wife, Estella (51), and their two sons, Jasper (14) and Friso (12). The young boys had been attending the European school in Kirchberg prior to the trekking holiday the family was headed for.

The prosecutor’s office is expected to indicate its requested sentence on Wednesday. Pulatov’s defence lawyers will have until March 2022 to answer to the prosecutors’ demands.

As tensions between Russia and the West rise due to the build-up of Russian troops in the conflict-riddled Ukraine, the final verdict should fall after the summer but before the end of 2022.