Families of Malaysia Airlines MH-17 crash victims testify in Dutch court

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The latest chapter in the long-running trial of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 crash begins. 

Families of the 298 victims killed when the Malaysia Airlines aircraft was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 have began their testimony on September 6, 2021 in a Dutch court at the murder trial of four suspects accused of carrying out the attack. 

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was flying to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile over eastern Ukraine. 

A total of 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members were on board. 196 of the passengers were Dutch. 

Under Dutch law, families and relatives are allowed to make a victim impact statement to the court. 91 family members are providing their testimonies over a period of 10 days. 

Some testimonies from family members who are from various countries overseas are expected to be given via video calls.

The testimonies are expected to be difficult and emotional as families and relatives speak about the personal impact the crash has had on their lives.

Three Russians and one Ukrainian are being tried in absentia for the attack, meaning none of them are physically present in court. Only one out of the four suspects has legal representation.

The court has scheduled three weeks to complete the family testimonies and will also review over a hundred written statements provided by other family members.

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