The family members of those individuals that had died in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, while it was over some area inside the Ukrainian border in the year 2014, have begun to give their testifications at the trial concerning four suspects. There are around 90 family relatives that are to speak while being at the high-security court located in Schiphol over the course of the upcoming three weeks in the month of September.
Possible cause of the crash
According to the international investigating officials, the aircraft for flight MH17 had been shot down by using a ground-to-air missile which had likely been fired by the pro-Russian rebels present in that area. A Ukrainian national along with three Russians are currently on trial for being suspects of shooting down MH17, but none of the four individuals are to appear in court, as they have denied any kind of involvement in the crash of flight MH17 back in 2014.
The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was scheduled to Kuala Lumpur after departing from Amsterdam on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down. The crash landing of the aircraft happened in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, which is about 50 km from the shared land border between Russia and Ukraine.
All of the 298 individuals that were onboard the MH17, with the aircraft being a Boeing 777 airliner, had been killed, including 283 passengers along with the 15 members of the flight crew. The victims of the crash of flight MH17 belong to 10 different nations, most of which were from the Netherlands.
It has been stated by the Dutch prosecutors that the four suspects had played a major role in shooting down the aircraft by using a Russian military-grade ground-to-air missile over a combat zone located on the eastern side of Ukraine. However, a sort of responsibility had been denied by the Russian authorities.
The trial of the major four suspects of Russian and Ukrainian nationality in the downing of flight MH17, named Oleg Pulatov, Leonid Kharchenko, Sergei Dubinsky, and Igor Girkin, had previously been opened in the Netherlands in the previous year after a case had been brought by the prosecutors of the country following the investigation by international authorities.
All of the involved individuals are currently being suspected of having ties with the pro-Russian separatists and have provided help to the rebels in the fight against the troops deployed by the government of Ukraine in the eastern region of the country. One of the suspects, Oleg Pulatov, had recently employed an entire team comprising of Dutch lawyers that would be representing him in the case.
On Monday, it has been stated by the Judge on the case Hendrik Steenhuis that the trial would be a highly emotional time for the family relatives of the people on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 and has given them the opportunity to be able to given their testimony in open court for the very first time.
Testimonies of victim’s families
One of the first relatives that had spoken in court was Ria van der Steen, who had her father along with her stepmother among the 298 victims on board flight MH17. She told the court regarding the reoccurring night terror in which she had been searching for the remains of her father while being in highly blazing aircraft wreckage to inform him that he had died.
She added that in her nightmare, the place smelt of burning fire and death, as she kept on calling to her father and asking him where he was. She also said that the authorities were able to identify her father through a small fragment of a bone from his disembodied hand, as it had been the only part of the body that was left of him.
The second individual that came on the stand was an Australian national, Vanessa Fizk, whose both parents had died in the plane crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, on bound for Kuala Lumpur. She testified in court by appearing through a video link straight from Australia, and she said that the perpetrators involved in the downing of the aircraft filled with innocent civilians deserve to be punished for their monstrous actions.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by her brother and said that his parents had been unnecessary victims of a conflict in which they had not played any kind of role to have died like that.