MH17 trial update
Over several weeks around 100 relatives testified about the impact the crash has had on their lives. On November 8, the last group of relatives exercised their right to speak.
Our firm stood 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 would be held.
The right to be heard has been available to victims for some time in the Netherlands. This, however, was the first time this right was exercised in this form and by so many people. This marked a historic point in the evolution of victims’ rights in Dutch criminal proceedings. It was incredibly important to them that they got 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 could 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 were resumed, and on 8 December the claims for compensation were outlined in more detail.
In the week of 20 December 2021 the Public Prosecution Service dwelt extensively on the events that led to the downing of flight MH17, the role played by the suspects and the evidence supporting the charges. The Public Prosecution Service also made its sentence demand on 22 December calling for life sentences for the four suspects. On behalf of the victims’ relatives the Public Prosecution Service also discussed the claims filed by the families’ lawyers, largely adopting their demands. The hearing has been resumed on 7 March 2022. For the court’s time schedule see: https://www.prosecutionservice.nl/topics/m/mh17-plane-crash.
For more information about the MH17 crash and the involvement of Beer advocaten’s aviation team, click here.