The Buk surface-to-air missile system from which the Malaysian Boeing 777 flight MH17 was shot down could not have been removed from Russia without the permission of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the lawyer of relatives of the MH17 crash victims, Jerry Skinner, in a comment to Deutsche Welle.
In his opinion, during the court hearings in the Netherlands, the public will hear the names of advisers close to Putin, and probably, the Russian president himself will be mentioned.
"I don't think we'll learn much. But in my opinion, such a powerful and high-tech weapon could not have left the territory of the Russian Federation, if it had not been sanctioned at the highest level. It all happened exactly as it happened. It is because Putin gave permission for this," Skinner said.
He also said that the final verdict in the case of MH17 will be delivered in a year or even later.
Skinner represents 40 families of the MH17 plane crash victims in their lawsuit against Russia and Vladimir Putin in the European Court of Human Rights. They are demanding $330 million compensation from Russia.
Skinner is known for seeking compensation from the Libyan government for shooting down a plane in the skies over Scottish Lockerbie.
The trial of 4 persons suspected of downing the Malaysian Boeing 777 flight MH17 started in the Netherlands on Monday, March 9.
On July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. All crew members and passengers were killed, a total of 298 people, including 80 children.
At a press conference in The Hague in May 2018, nearly four years later, the JIT presented fragments of the missile used to shoot down the plane. The Buk system from which the missile was fired belonged to the 53rd anti-air missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, which is based in Kursk.
In June 2019, the JIT released the names of four suspects in the MH17 case: The three Russian citizens Sergey “Gloomy” Dubinsky, Oleg “Caliph” Pulatov and Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, and the Ukrainian citizen Leonid “Mole” Kharchenko. Former DPR militant Vladimir Tsemakh was later also declared a suspect, but Ukraine handed him over to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) announced that the defendants are suspected of committing “a terrorist act which lead to human deaths”.
After five years of investigation, the JIT has established the exact time and route taken by the Buk anti-air missile system from Russia to Ukraine and back, the time and place where the fatal missile was fired, and obtained information about more than 150 people who were involved in the transportation of the Buk.