Prosecutors Push for Life Sentences in Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 

Dutch prosecutors have demanded life sentences for four suspects on trial for the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people. 

The prosecution closed three days of final arguments Wednesday by saying Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Igor Pulatov, along with Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, collaborated to get a Buk missile system from Russia to support separatists in Ukraine. 

An international investigation in 2018 concluded a missile launcher used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 came from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade.

Prosecutors said the missile was brought to its launch site “by orders of and under guidance of the suspects.” 

Most of those on board the plane were Dutch nationals, and the Netherlands holds Russia responsible for the downing of the aircraft.Russia has denied any involvement. 

All of the suspects are being tried in absentia. Only Pulatov has legal representation at the proceedings, and his lawyers are expected to give their closing arguments in March. 

A verdict in the trial is not expected until late next year. 

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