NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands (Reuters) - Three Russians and a Ukrainian will face murder charges for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine which killed 298 people, in a trial to start in the Netherlands next March, an investigation team said on Wednesday.
The suspects are likely to be tried in absentia, however, as the Netherlands has said Russia has not cooperated with the investigation and is not expected to hand anyone over.
"These suspects are seen to have played an important role in the death of 298 innocent civilians", said Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke.
"Although they did not push the button themselves, we suspect them of close cooperation to get the (missile launcher) where it was, with the aim to shoot down an airplane."
Photo illustration by Aaron Provost/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Gordon
During the November 2017 Halifax International Security Forum, the Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commanding general of U.S. Strategic Command, responded to a question about a hypothetical order from President Donald Trump to launch a nuclear strike, saying: “I provide advice to the President. He’ll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm gonna say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.' Guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options or a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated."