Over deaths of MH17’s 298 crew, passengers
On Wednesday, Dutch authorities revealed that Russians Igor Girkin, 48, Sergey Dubinskiy, 56, and Oleg Pulatov, 52, and a Ukrainian, Leonid Kharchenko, 47, had been charged with the murder of MH17’s 298 passengers and crew.
However the four men are unlikely to appear in any Dutch court as the both Russian and Ukrainian constitutions prevent the extradition of their nationals, and Russia continues to deny any involvement in the disaster and has refused to cooperate with the international investigation.
Among those who died when their passenger plane was shot down on July 17, 2014, was 29-year-old Victor Oreshkin from Lidcombe who was returning to Australia from a five-week trip to Europe.
His loss is still keenly felt by his friends and family, including his father Serge who was actually in Amsterdam when he heard the news about the charges.
Mr Oreshkin said they were in the country to attend next month’s memorial service.
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, described the Dutch prosecutions as a significant step “towards justice and accountability for the victims of the downing and their loved ones”.
She said the Australian Government remained committed to holding the perpetrators to account.
“The downing of MH17 was a despicable act and the Australian Government has not stopped in the pursuit of justice for the 298 victims, including 38 Australians,” she said.
“While we cannot take away the grief of those who lost loved ones, we will continue to do everything possible to ensure justice prevails.”