Joint criminal probe into MH17 crash

10 September 2014 by Stephanie van den Berg

The Netherlands has set up a joint investigative team with Ukraine, Australia and Belgium to lead a criminal investigation into Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The plane, which was allegedly shot down, crashed on 17 July in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. All 298 people on board were killed.

Dutch prosecutors will lead the investigation. Malaysia is working with the joint team, but – according to sources speaking to Dutch public broadcaster NOS – could not officially be part of it because Kuala Lumpur imposes the death penalty for offences like terrorism.

Right after the disaster, the Dutch prosecutor’s office said it opened a criminal probe, considering charges of murder and intentionally causing an aircraft crash (punishable under Dutch law) and war crimes and crimes against humanity (punishable under international criminal law). The majority of passengers was Dutch, thus giving Dutch prosecutors jurisdiction. 

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