MH17 criminal trial

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Persons suspected of downing flight MH17, will be put on trial in the Netherlands before a Dutch court. This page contains information in English. For information in Dutch, Ukrianian or Russian, please click on one of the links below.

Latest developments

MH17 trial to be held at the Justice Complex Schiphol at Badhoevedorp

Today the Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, designated the Justice Complex Schiphol at Badhoevedorp as the location for any future MH17 trial. In September 2017 the ministry decided that, if the Public Prosecution Service decides to prosecute, the ensuing trial will be heard by The Hague district court. However, the courthouse in The Hague is unable to accommodate such a large trial, as it does not have the required facilities.

Video

Previous developments

[Photo: Hollandse Hoogte]

On Wednesday 5 July 2017 it was announced that individuals suspected of downing flight MH17 would be prosecuted in the Netherlands. This option was chosen at the request of the countries working together within the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is investigating the circumstances of the disaster. The team comprises the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. On 29 July 2015, an attempt to establish a UN tribunal to try the suspects failed when Russia exercised its veto in the UN Security Council.

The JIT countries’ law enforcement authorities are currently still conducting the criminal investigation. It is not clear when the investigation will be concluded, but once it is completed, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service will issue a notice of summons and accusation explaining precisely who the suspects are and what criminal offences they are charged with.

    

Background

On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew, including 196 Dutch nationals. According to the Joint Investigation Team, the aircraft was downed by a surface-to-air missile.

Procedure

  1. Preparation Actieve stap
  2. Pre-trial review Te nemen stap
  3. Trial Te nemen stap
  4. Judgment Te nemen stap

Frequently asked questions

>Alles uitklappen
  • Once the criminal investigation is completed the Dutch Public Prosecution Service will summons the defendants to appear before a Dutch court. They will be tried in accordance with Dutch criminal law.

  • Any criminal case concerning the MH17 disaster will be heard by The Hague district court.

  • The Dutch judiciary has a great deal of experience handling complex cases involving international elements (e.g. Srebrenica, the Rwandan genocide and torture committed in Afghanistan under communist rule). A number of international criminal tribunals are also located in the Netherlands. For more information, see ‘The Dutch judiciary from an international perspective’ (in Dutch).

  • The Public Prosecution Service has not yet summonsed anyone to appear in connection with the downing of flight MH17, so it is not yet clear where the suspects are located. Whether a Dutch court can compel suspects to appear before the court will depend on the agreements and arrangements the Netherlands has concluded with the country concerned.

  • In general, courts want everything possible to be done to ensure that suspects are summonsed to appear at their trial, so that they have the opportunity to defend themselves or be defended by legal counsel. If a suspect fails to appear and does not arrange to be represented by counsel, the court may proceed in their absence, and the defendant may be convicted in absentia.

 

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National Press Guidelines 2013

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Senate passes legislation on MH17 trial10-7-2018 22:00:00On 10 July 2018 the Senate unanimously approved two bills making provision for those accused of downing flight MH17 to stand trial in the Netherlands. <p>On 10 July 2018 the Senate unanimously approved two bills making provision for those accused of downing flight MH17 to <a href="/Uitspraken-en-nieuws/Bekende-rechtszaken/strafzaak-mh17/Paginas/criminal-case-MH17-EN.aspx">stand trial in the Netherlands</a>. The bills were passed with the support of every party in the Senate. The legislation implements the agreement on international legal cooperation concluded by the Netherlands and Ukraine in July 2017.</p>
MH17 trial to be held at the Justice Complex Schiphol at Badhoevedorp21-6-2018 22:00:00​Today the Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, designated the Justice Complex Schiphol at Badhoevedorp as the location for any future MH17 trial.<p>Today the Minister of Justice and Security, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, designated the Justice Complex Schiphol at Badhoevedorp as the location for any future <a href="/Uitspraken-en-nieuws/Bekende-rechtszaken/strafzaak-mh17/Paginas/criminal-case-MH17-EN.aspx">MH17 trial</a>. In September 2017 the ministry decided that, if the Public Prosecution Service decides to prosecute, the ensuing trial will be heard by The Hague district court. However, the courthouse in The Hague is unable to accommodate such a large trial, as it does not have the required facilities. Mr Grapperhaus has therefore decided to designate the Justice Complex Schiphol at Badhoevedorp as the trial location instead. The law allows for such a move if it is necessary for security reasons or due to other circumstances. </p>
House of Representatives passes legislation on MH17 trial11-6-2018 22:00:00The House of Representatives has approved two bills making provision for those accused of downing flight MH17 to stand trial in the Netherlands. <p>The House of Representatives has approved two bills making provision for those accused of downing flight MH17 to stand trial in the Netherlands. The bills were passed with the support of every party in parliament. The legislation implements the agreement on international legal cooperation concluded by the Netherlands and Ukraine in July 2017. </p>