UPDATED : Four charged with murder over downing of MH 17
Investigators probing the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine in which 298 people died in 2014 are to charge four persons with murder.
The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) presented the new evidence and announce charges for the first time after a meeting with relatives of the victims. Further details are expected to be announced later during the day.
The four have been identified as Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko and all worked for the military intelligence agency (GRU) of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic at the time of the attack, investigators said.
They will be subject to international arrest warrants and placed on international wanted lists.
The Donetsk People’s Republic of the GRU is not formally linked to Russia’s GRU, which is also a military intelligence agency.
The three Russian suspects are believed to be living in Russia, while the Ukrainian suspect is thought to be in eastern Ukraine.
All four were said to be in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, when the plane was downed.
International investigators from the MH17 Joint Investigation Team (JIT) have accused four pro-Russian military intelligence officers of being involved in a missile attack that shot down the MH17.
Investigators are to open criminal proceedings against four suspects over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, according to Dutch national broadcaster NOS.
The court case will begin on 9 March 2020.
Passenger flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over conflict-hit Ukraine.
Investigators blame Russian-backed separatists who they say targeted the plane with a Russian-made missile.
The Boeing 777 crashed in rebel-held eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, at the height of the conflict between government troops and separatists.
Via Sky News