Crime & Justice

MH17 suspect willing to give evidence in Dutch trial

Amsterdam, Sep 28 (efe-epa).- One of four suspects on trial for allegedly participating in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is willing to give evidence, lawyers said Monday.

Oleg Pulatov’s legal team said he would agree to participate in the trial being held at a court near Amsterdam into the crash over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Pulatov is the only defendant being represented by a legal team, the three others are being tried in absentia and remain at large.

His lawyers said he is willing to give his version of what happened on 17 July 2014, when the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed over war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Defense lawyer Sabine ten Doesscahate recommended Pulatov testify via video link or in writing.

The suspect is the subject of an international arrest warrant, meaning he would be detained if he physically appeared in court.

Pulatov denies all accusations that he was involved in the provision, transport or deployment of the Russian Buk missile system the international Joint Investigation Team concluded was used to shoot down the passenger plane.

“He did not and does not have any knowledge of how and why MH17 was downed,” Ten Doesscahate said.

The defense team met with Pulatov in Russia last week for the first time since March.

The JIT concluded that Pulatov was a senior intelligence officer for pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk when the plane was shot down and oversaw the transport of the Buk missile system from Russia to eastern Ukraine.

The JIT cited recordings of telephone calls as proof.

Prosecutors have accused Russian nationals Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko of the murder of the passengers and crew who died on board MH17.

The plane was downed over territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels who launched an insurgency in eastern Ukraine following the pro-European revolution in Kiev in 2014.

Russia and the rebels have denied any involvement in the incident.EFE-EPA

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