6 September 2021: relatives of victims of MH17 exercise right to be heard
For three weeks a total of 91 relatives will testify about the impact the crash has had on their lives. Arlette Schijns, Laura Kroese and Irene Timmermans, members of Beer advocaten’s aviation team will stand by the relatives during this immensely difficult period. Before the hearings the relatives were as well prepared as possible for what to expect. As part of that preparation, for instance, they could check out the room where the hearing will be held.
The right to be heard has been available to victims for some time in the Netherlands. This, however, will be the first time this right will be exercised in this form and by so many people. This marks a historic point in the evolution of victims’ rights in Dutch criminal proceedings. 91 relatives will address the court. It is incredibly important to them that they get this opportunity, to speak at the hearing and to share the impact of the downing of the MH17 on their lives not just with the justices, but with the rest of the world as well. In exercising their right to be heard, the relatives may also share their views of the criminal offence, the question who is to blame, and the punishment of the suspects.
Experience shows that justices set great store by the stories of surviving relatives and their written statements, and that this can play an important part in helping relatives work through their traumas.
In November 2021 the hearings will be resumed, and the claims for compensation outlined in more detail.
For more information about the MH17 crash and Beer advocaten’s aviation team, click here.