The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) – comprised of the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia, and Ukraine – has announced the first charges in relation to the MH17 downing that took place in occupied Donbas in July 2014.
Thus, the investigation team has indicted Russian citizens Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko.
They are suspected of murdering 298 passengers aboard of the MH17 flight that was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014
The JIT emphasized that they will continue to investigate this tragic event and made a further call for witnesses of the downing, promising full witness protection.
Earlier on June 19, the British open-source investigation group Bellingcat released their findings of the investigation of the downing of the MH17 flight, which was carried out by a Boeing 777 aircraft. Bellingcat revealed the names of suspects who, according to their information, carried out the shoot-down.
In its investigation, Bellingcat named these people:
Valery Stelmakh, who informed his colleague that the plane was approaching before the launch of the missile from the "Buk" system.
Major General Sergey Dubinsky, who “was the key figure in organizing the transport of the Buk to the launch site south of Snizhne. However, questions still linger over the involvement in the downing of other unidentified individuals,” later indicted by the JIT.
Leonid Kharchenko who was also involved in transporting the BUK missile to the launch site, also indicted by the JIT.
Bellingcat also named Oleg Pulatov, Eduard Gilazov, Oleg Sharpov, Sergey Povalyev, Igor Ukrainets and Aleksandr Semyonov as those involved with the downing of the MH17.
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At the same time, Bellingcat did not specify who specifically ordered the launch of the missile or pressed the launch button.
On the eve of the release, the Dutch TV channel Nieuwsuur published other names of alleged suspects involved in the downing of MH17 in 2014. Among them is a Ukrainian, Ivan Bezyasikov. His lawyer named the presence of his client in the list a "fake." He was not charged in the JIT investigation.
/By Džiugas Kuprevičius