KUALA LUMPUR: The European Union has reiterated its full support to establish the truth and achieve justice for the victims of the downed MH17 flight.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell reiterated the support for all efforts to establish the truth and achieve justice for the 298 victims and their next of kin and holding those responsible to account, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166.
"On July 17, we commemorate the sixth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, when 298 people of 17 different nationalities lost their lives.
"The European Union continues to feel deep sympathy for all those who lost their loved ones," he said in a statement on Thursday (July 16).
He said in recalling its previous statements, the European Union takes note of all steps that have been taken in this regard and expects Russia to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with efforts to establish accountability.
It was reported that Dutch prosecutors have accused Russia of trying to sabotage the investigation into the downing of Flight MH17 in Ukraine in 2014, saying this cast “a dark shadow” over the impending trial of four suspects in the crash.
Pre-trial hearings began in Amsterdam in March. Prosecutors say the defendants – three Russians and a Ukrainian – helped arrange the Russian missile system used to shoot down MH17, a civilian aircraft.
All 298 people on board were killed. Most of the passengers were Dutch nationals.
“The sum of all the facts casts a dark shadow over this investigation because there is strong indicative evidence that Russian government is keen to thwart the investigation, ” prosecutor Thijs Berger said at the hearing, part of which focused on testimony by witnesses who have not yet been named.
Several witnesses in this investigation have said that they fear for their lives if their identities would come to light.
Lawyers for one defendant protested at the prosecutor’s remarks about Russia and argued that witness intimidation should not be addressed in open hearings.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17,2014, when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Moscow rebels amid fighting in eastern Ukraine.
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