By Townhall. Just days after The Atlantic published their comprehensive investigation on the whereabouts of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared into thin air in March 2014, a European joint task force revealed it has leveled charges against four men — one Ukranian and three Russians — for a second Malaysian airlines tragedy: the July 2014 explosion of MH17.
The BBC reports that the four men, who investigators believe were in direct contact with Russian officials, are accused of transporting missiles into an area of Ukraine for the purpose of shooting down a passenger jet. The four “did not push the button themselves,” investigators say, but provided the local milita with the means used to down the Malaysian airlines flight.
The joint investigative team is Dutch and plans to prosecute the four men — Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov from Russia, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenkoin — in the Netherlands under Dutch law. The trial won’t begin until 2020, however, since Dutch authorities say they still have at least eight more persons of interest to investigate in relation to the case.
Investigators believe that Girkin, a former Russian intelligence official, was in “direct contact with the Russian Federation” and that he and his team were well aware of what they were arming local militias to do, and that they’d reported their progress to Russian officials. . .
Unsurprisingly, Russia has refused to cooperate with the investigation and disputes the Dutch investigators’ findings. Russian officials say they do not believe any of their anti-aircraft missiles ever crossed the Russian border into Ukraine, even though investigators believe that the missile that hit MH17 belonged to the “53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade,” based in Kursk. (Read more from “The OTHER Malaysian Airlines Flight: Three Russians and Ukranian Charged with Shooting down MH17” HERE)
MH17: Four Charged with Shooting down Plane over Ukraine
By BBC News. For the first time since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014, prosecutors have announced charges against suspects in the case. . .
The passenger jet left Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at 10:15 GMT on 17 July 2014 and was due to arrive at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia the following day.
A few hours after take-off, the plane lost contact with air traffic control about 50km (30 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border.
At the time, an armed conflict was raging on the ground in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces, and several government military aircraft had been downed in the previous weeks, while government air strikes were being carried out on rebel-held areas.
The plane crashed in the Donetsk area, in territory controlled by separatists. Parts of the wreckage were found distributed over an area of about 50 sq km (19 square miles). (Read more from “MH17: Four Charged with Shooting down Plane over Ukraine” HERE)