No appeal against MH17 acquittal, Dutch public prosecutor says

Photo: N. van der Pas
Photo: N. van der Pas

The Dutch public prosecution service has decided not to appeal against the acquittal of one of four men accused of involvement in the downing of flight MH17, with the loss of 298 lives.

Last month, judges found three men guilty of murder but found the fourth not guilty, saying his involvement had not been proven.

‘An appeal would be a great burden for the next of kin, because they would then remain in uncertainty about the outcome of the criminal case,’ the department said in a statement on Thursday.

None of the suspects – three Russians and one Ukrainian – attended the hearings at the high security courtroom near Schiphol airport and the three found guilty are unlikely to actually spend time in jail because Russia does not extradite its own nationals.

Prosecutors had demanded life sentences for all four men.

Justice minister Dilan Yesilgöz said after the verdict was announced that the Netherlands will continue the investigation. ‘We are now looking into other people who may be responsible and there are still legal procedures pending against the Russian state,’ she said. ‘The Netherlands will continue to strive for the truth.’

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