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Netherlands: Suspect denies involvement in downing flight MH17 as trial resumes

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The lawyer of Oleg Pulatov, one of the four suspects charged in the downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 denied any involvement in the case, as the trial at the Schiphol Judicial Complex (JCS) in Badhoevedorp resumed on Monday.

Sabine ten Doesschate told the court that her client “was not involved in ordering, guarding, transporting and hiding” the Buk missile that downed the Boeing 777 jet. “Instructing the crew thereof, firing or ordering to fire a Buk missile and or downing MH17, he was not involved with that,” she added.

“Yes, our client was engaged in the war in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 however this does not mean he knows how this disaster was caused, it’s guesswork to him too,” the lawyer said.

Pulatov would like to address the court in person “as soon as possible”, according to the defence, but his lawyers “strongly advised” him against it as international arrest warrants were issued and the four suspects were placed on national and international wanted people lists.

The defence also submitted requests for more investigation on the case to be discussed in November. “We believe that the results of the investigation steps which we will request will shed much new light on this matter and will even lead to a totally fresh outlook on the facts at the version in which the prosecution presents,” Sabine Ten Doesschate said.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis told he was “unpleasantly surprised” by the defence request and the subsequent further delay of the trial.

On July 17 2014, flight M17 crashed in Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The hearings are taking place in the Netherlands since nearly all the passengers were Dutch citizens.

Flight MH17 departed Schiphol Airport and was set for Kuala Lumpur, before being shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine. Prosecutors accuse the defendants of involvement in the deployment of a missile that downed the aircraft.

Video ID: 20200928-009

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