07/18/2022, 16.56
MALAYSIA
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Victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine eight years ago remembered

by Steve Suwannarat

The investigation points the finger at pro-Russian militias, but the case is not yet over. The plane was en route from the Netherlands to Malaysia. None of the 298 people on board survived.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) – On Monday the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives), the lower house of the Malaysian Parliament, marked the anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by pro-Russian forces over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

"I pray that the families of the passengers and crew of the aircraft remain steadfast and resilient in facing this ordeal,” said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar bin Azizan Harun.

“On behalf of the Members of the House of Representatives and Parliament as a whole, I extend my condolences to all the families of the passengers and crew of MH17,” Harun added, inviting Muslim MPs to recite the al-Fatihah prayer while non-Muslims were asked to observe a minute of silence.

On 17 July 2014, an anti-aircraft missile shot down a Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The evidence suggests that pro-Russian secessionist forces were responsible for the attack. None of the 283 passengers, mostly Dutch citizens, and 15-member crew survived.

Dutch authorities completed their preliminary investigation in 2016. the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team found that the Buk TELAR system that shot down the plane came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk in the Russian Federation.

Until then, no one had issued warnings about possible dangers for planes flying on the usually busy air route.

In 2019 four individuals, including three soldiers from pro-Russian separatist forces, were indicted and an international arrest warrant was issued against them.

The long legal affair has not yet ended. The last hearing by the Dutch court in charge of the case was held on 10 June with the presiding judge, Hendrik Steenhuis, announcing that the proceedings would resume on 22 September.

It is expected that by then the Court will be able to announce a date for the final verdict, probably between 17 November and 15 December.

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