Families of MH17 victims seek to testify in court
By Imane Rachidi
Amsterdam, Aug 31 (efe-epa).- A lawyer for families of victims killed in the MH17 crash said Monday that 76 relatives want to testify before a court in the Netherlands.
The Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down in 2014 in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.
Four suspects are being tried at a courtroom near Amsterdam for murder, the only criminal case so far in relation to the tragedy.
Peter Langstraat, who represents the victims’ families, said 76 relatives of the victims have said that they want to exercise their right to speak during the trial, 66 of them in person and the other 10 remotely.
At least 127 relatives will give a written statement to the court and others will record video statements as soon as possible due to deteriorating health problems.
Victims’ lawyers and prosecutors asked the judges to give half an hour to each family member and listen to 10 people per day for two consecutive weeks.
A total of 316 relatives have said they plan to seek damages, said lawyer Arlette Schijns, who also represents the families of the deceased.
“This is about individuals who were confronted six years ago with a terrible loss that continues to have an influence on their lives today,” she added.
She continued: “The criminal trial is important for them because it will establish the facts of what happened on 17 July 2014, who is responsible for it, what sentence they deserve.