JIT countries continue collaboration on MH17 investigation

The JIT countries investigating the downing of MH17 in 2014 today signed an extension of the JIT Agreement in Amsterdam. Representatives from the five investigative authorities of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and The Netherlands signed the prolongation of the JIT Agreement on the eve of the trial commencement on Monday (9 March). The prolongation ensures the investigation into the downing of MH17 continues unabated and in parallel with the trial of the four suspects.

JIT-coordinator and Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke signs the prolongation of the JIT agreement
Image: Loes van der Meer
JIT-coordinator and Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke signs the prolongation of the JIT agreement

Start of trial

The first court session against the suspects Girkin, Dubinskiy, Pulatov and Kharchenko will commence at 10:00 am on Monday 9th of March. The four men will be prosecuted for causing the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the murder of all 298 persons on board. The JIT partners, who conducted the investigation, will be present for the start of the hearings in the District Court of The Hague at the Schiphol Judicial Complex. 

Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service Digna van Boetzelaer: “Uncovering the truth is a very time consuming and methodical process.  Tomorrow the Netherlands will begin the trial of the four suspects, however this does not mean the investigation into those responsible has been finalized. For me the trial is an important step towards finding truth and accountability. The duration of the investigation has put a heavy burden on the families and friends of the MH17 victims. I am especially relieved for them that the judicial process will now commence. The Public Prosecution Service is ready."

Today’s prolongation of the JIT-partner agreement reinforces five years of effective mutual cooperation and confirms its continuation.  The partners have again expressed their confidence in the Dutch legal system.

The JIT-countries visited the MH17 Memorial and their representatives laid a wreath to commemorate the 298 victims of flight MH17
Image: Loes van der Meer

Wreath laying

This morning the JIT-countries visited the MH17 Memorial and their representatives laid a wreath to commemorate the 298 victims of flight MH17.