PETALING JAYA: While nothing can bring back lost lives or take away the grief, the government hopes that the Dutch court verdict on the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 will give some peace and relief to the families and next of kin of the 298 victims.
Voicing its support for the decision of The Hague District Court on Thursday, Malaysia said it is satisfied with the outcome of the judicial process in the Dutch legal system that delivered the long-awaited justice.
Dutch judges had convicted in absentia Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Leonid Kharchenko for their role in the shooting down of MH17 and handed them life sentences.
Another accused, Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted.
On July 17, 2014, MH17 took off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to Kuala Lumpur.
Tragedy struck as the flight was cruising at 33,000 feet over Ukraine when it was brought down by a Russian-made missile.
In a statement yesterday in response to the court verdict, the Prime Minister’s Office said: “The decision of this criminal case in the Netherlands has become an important benchmark in the effort to find the truth and uphold justice for all 298 victims including the 43 Malaysians who died in the flight tragedy as well as for all the victims’ relatives.
“Malaysia has always maintained that the trial conducted must be based on truth, justice and full of responsibility,” it added.
It also conveyed the government’s appreciation to the members of the Joint Investigation Team consisting of representatives from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine who had worked together to conduct an international criminal investigation into the MH17 tragedy.
The government also expressed its sympathy and condolences to the families and relatives of the victims.
“Although nothing can bring back their lives nor reduce the grief and suffering experienced by their families and loved ones, the court’s decision is hoped to some extent be able to give some relief and peace to the families and next of kin of the victims killed in this tragedy,” it said.
Former transport minister Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai sent his thoughts and prayers to the families concerned.
“I had said that Malaysia will not stop until justice is served for those who died on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down by a Russian missile system over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.
“The pain of losing our loved ones will never go away,” he added.