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Washington, June 20 (IANS) The US has urged Russia to ensure that the people accused of being involved in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014 face justice and said it believed that they will be tried by the Dutch authorities in a “just” manner.
In a statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of the indictment of the four people “for their role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014” and recalled the UN Security Council’s demand that the countries affected should cooperate in the efforts to establish accountability, Efe news reported.
“We call upon Russia to respect and adhere to UN Security Council Resolution 2166 (2014) and ensure that any indicted individuals currently in Russia face justice,” Pompeo said.
“We fully support,” the work of Dutch authorities on the Joint Investigation Team, comprising nearly 100 experts from the five affected countries – the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, he added.
In a press conference held in the Dutch city of Nieuwegein earlier on Wednesday, Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke and Dutch National Police chief Wilbert Paulissen announced that international arrest warrants will be sent for Russia’s Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Igor Girkin and Ukraine’s Leonid Chartsjenko.
They will also ask Russia to interrogate the suspects as a legal assistance to the judicial process, although lamented that they will not be able to demand the extradition of the suspects because the Russian and the Ukrainian constitutions do not allow extradition of their citizens to other countries.
“This is an important milestone in the search for the truth, and we remain confident in the professionalism and ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to prosecute those responsible in a manner that is fair and just,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo reiterated his “deepest sympathies” to the families and friends of the victims and called for justice on behalf of the 298 “innocent civilians who lost their lives on that day”.
Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH17, between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur, was allegedly shot down by a surface-to-air missile while flying over eastern Ukraine.
The missile was launched from a region in east Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia rebels and killed all 298 people – 193 of them Dutch – on board.
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