- Title: Names of downed Malaysian airliner victims read out as murder trial opens
- Date: 9th March 2020
- Summary: BADHOEVEDORP, THE NETHERLANDS (MARCH 9, 2020) (REUTERS) ONE OF THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING VICTIMS' FAMILIES, PETER LANGSTRAAT, TALKING TO PRESS CAMERA OPERATOR (SOUNDBITE) (English) ONE OF THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING 398 RELATIVES OF 244 VICTIMS, PETER LANGSTRAAT, SAYING: "They are now under the protection of the regime in Russia. But we don't know how long this regime will last. Even one of the defendants, of what I understood, said it in public. I am not totally sure about this. And there's the long arm of justice. Second one is, it limits their possibilities to travel. I mean, they have to stay put. So, as you know, look at what happened with the Lockerbie case. Finally, you know, justice was done." LANGSTRAAT TALKING TO PRESS SCHIPHOL JUSTICE COMPLEX
- Keywords: Badhoevedorp Malaysia Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane crash Russia The Netherlands Ukraine criminal trial lawyer list names prosecutor victims
- Reuters ID: LVA002C4BZPS7
- Location: BADHOEVEDORP, THE NETHERLANDS
- City: BADHOEVEDORP, THE NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Duration: 00:01:03
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Story Text: Relatives sat listening with bowed heads and eyes closed as the names of all 298 victims of a missile strike on a Malaysian airliner were read out in a Dutch court on Monday (March 9) as the murder trial of four fugitive defendants began.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was hit by a surface-to-air missile on July 17, 2014 while flying over Ukrainian territory held by pro-Russian rebels fighting government forces. The airliner was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
None of the accused in the disaster - three Russians and a Ukrainian - were present in the courtroom and all four are believed to be in Russia. Only one sent a defense lawyer.
Judges ruled that the men had waived their rights to attend and said proceedings would continue without them.
"Many people have long waited for this day," Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said in opening remarks. "This tragic loss of so many lives has touched many all over the world."
"They (the defendants) are now under the protection of the regime in Russia...," Peter Langstraat, part of the team of lawyers representing 398 relatives of 244 victims, told journalists. Langstraat said he hoped "the long arm of justice" would catch up to the suspects eventually.
"Look at what happened to the Lockerbie case," he said, referring to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over which a Libyan intelligence officer was jailed for life. "Finally you know, justice was done."
(Production: Hilde Verweij, Clement Rossignol, Bart Biesemans)
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