AMSTERDAM, March 11 – The District Court of The Hague decided on Tuesday to postpone the hearings in the case of the Flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in 2014 until March 23, reported Sputnik news agency.
The hearings began at the Schiphol Judicial Complex on Monday. Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko are the defendants in absentia.
Later in the day, Maria Kneif, the judge of the Hague District Court in charge of media relations, said that the hearing was postponed after the prosecution requested the case be further investigated, the reconstructed site of the crash examined and new witnesses questioned.
According to her, the delay was also caused by issues on the translation of documents for the defendants into Russian and interpretation services for the Russian lawyer.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard died. The accident was subsequently investigated by Dutch prosecutors and the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT). They have claimed that the plain was hit by a Buk missile that belonged to the Russian armed forces.
Moscow has repeatedly denied involvement in the incident and has called the JIT investigation biased as Russia’s evidence, including radar data showing that the plane had been shot down by a Ukrainian Buk missile, has been ignored by investigators.