Kyiv promises to arrest Ukrainian MH17 catastrophe suspect

Ukraine intends to arrest Leonid Kharchenko, the Ukrainian citizen who is suspected of complicity in the downing of flight MH17, said Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, as cited by Interfax.

According to Lutsenko, Ukraine will do everything in its power to arrest this person. If it manages to do so, the Ukrainian government will organize a court session in the Netherlands, and will uphold the court’s decision on the case in accordance with the international agreement between Ukraine and the Netherlands, he clarified.

The MH17 catastrophe took place in July 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) concluded that the Buk surface-to-air missile which hit the plane had been fired by the militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Russia has denied any involvement in the catastrophe.

The JIT has identified four chief suspects in the MH17 crash: the Russian citizens Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov and the Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko. International arrest warrants have been issued for them, and they have been placed on the relevant wanted persons lists. The investigation has also asked Moscow and Kyiv to question the suspects.

JIT chief Fred Westerbeke said that a court hearing on the case will be held in the Hague on 9 March 2020.

  Ukraine, Russia, Netherlands, MH-17, Europe