The families of 298 people killed when flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in 2014 have demanded justice from Russia as they testified in the Dutch trial of four suspects.
People who lost close relatives in the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane said they could not truly say goodbye to their loved ones until those responsible had been brought to account.
International investigators say a Russian-made missile fired from territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Moscow rebels brought down the Boeing 777, but Russia has denied all involvement.
Ria van der Steen, who lost her father, Jan, and stepmother, Nell, said she was quoting from the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn: âThey are lying, we know theyâre lying and they know that we know that theyâre lying.â
âI am full of feelings of revenge, hate, anger and fear,â said Van der Steen, who was the first to testify. âI know they are dead and I will not see them again, but I canât put an end to this process of saying goodbye, certainly not until those who are responsible for their deaths are found to be guilty for what they have done.âMultiple sightings of missile launcher before MH17 shot down, court told Read more
Russian nationals Oleg Pulatov, Igor Girkin and Sergei Dubinsky, and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko are all being tried in absentia for murder. Only Pulatov has legal representation.
Australian Vanessa Rizk, whose parents Albert and Maree were travelling back on the doomed plane from a European holiday, said the perpetrators âdeserved punishment for their heinous actionsâ.
âHow would the perpetrators feel if it was their loved ones? How would (president Vladimir) Putin and his corrupt Russian government answer that,â she said via livestream from Australia.
Her brother James echoed her words, saying their parents had become victims of a conflict they had no part in. âThe misinformation from Russia, the lack of involvement from Russia, and their denials baffles me,â he said.
About 90 relatives, both from the 196 Dutch victims of the crash as well as those from Australia and Malaysia, are expected to address the court in the coming days.
Head judge Hendrik Steenhuis set 22 September 2022 as a possible date for the verdict in the trial, but gave alternative dates in November and December of that year.