4 males accused of homicide over the downing of Malaysia Airways flight 17 in jap Ukraine cannot declare combatant immunity, a Dutch court docket has heard.
Prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse says Russian Oleg Pulatov, Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko, who’re being tried in absentia, weren’t combating for a recognised state when the passenger aircraft was shot down with a missile on July 17, 2014.
He informed the District Courtroom of The Hague on Wednesday the 4 are subsequently criminally chargeable for the homicide of all 298 aboard, together with 38 who known as Australia dwelling.
“In accordance with the Dutch legal legislation you aren’t allowed to shoot down aeroplanes and kill individuals no matter whether or not these are civilians or army individuals,” Ferdinandusse stated.
“In these instances the crimes qualify as homicide and downing an aeroplane inflicting demise.”
The prosecution defined that fighters wanted to fulfill 5 assessments with the intention to declare combatant immunity below the Geneva Conference.
They have to show they fought for a state in a global battle, they have been below the command construction of a state, they have been topic to a army disciplinary system consistent with humanitarian legislation, they distinguished themselves from civilians they usually acted consistent with humanitarian legislation.
Ferdinandusse says the accused 4 for teams that inflicted “a reign of intimidation and terror” in jap Ukraine together with extrajudicial killings of civilians.
“Their group used lawless violence that’s banned by the legal guidelines of conflict. Only for that purpose alone they don’t qualify for immunity,” he informed the court docket.
The prosecution stated the 4 accused had persistently denied combating for Russia, despite the fact that it provided them with fighters, weapons and logistical assist in the course of the battle.
Russia has additionally denied there was a global armed battle in Ukraine, that it was concerned and that separatists have been below its command or performing on its behalf.
However Ferdinandusse left the door open for Pulatov to assert he was performing for Russia, which is unlikely as a result of it will straight implicate the Russian authorities within the MH17 catastrophe.
“The primary and most vital query that must be answered by Pulatov if he needs declare combatant immunity is whether or not or not in July 2014 he was a part of Russian armed forces,” he stated.
“If Pulatov has learn the case file and likewise carried out further investigations to search out out that he was a part of the Russian armed forces in 2014 he’ll most likely be the primary individual on the planet who solely discovered years afterwards that he was truly a part of a military.
“If Pulatov would not know himself or can’t substantiate that on the time he belonged to the Russian forces we are able to safely assume that that was not the case.”