MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Russia will not extradite its citizens sentenced in absentia to life in prison by a Dutch court in the case of the 2014 Boeing crash in Ukraine and the court’s decision will have no legal consequences, Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Andrey Klishas told TASS on Thursday.
"It will not have any legal consequences but it is interesting to consider," the senator said, commenting on the court’s verdict. "We never extradite Russian citizens to other countries under any circumstances," Klishas added.
He also wondered how the court would have assessed the actions of Ukrainian officials "who started a civil war after an anti-constitutional coup and later failed to close the airspace over the armed conflict zone to civilian flights."
A Dutch court earlier found former militia leader in the Donetsk People’s Republic Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, and his subordinates Sergey Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko guilty of involvement in the Boeing crash, sentencing them to life imprisonment. Defendant Oleg Pulatov, whose interests were represented by two Dutch lawyers, was acquitted.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing 298 people from ten countries. In June 2019, the Joint Investigative Team (JIT) announced that it had identified a group of four people, suspected of being involved in the incident. A trial against them began in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020. They were accused of delivering a Buk missile system from Russia to Ukraine. The prosecution demanded life imprisonment for all defendants. The trial took place in the absence of the accused. Russian officials repeatedly expressed their lack of confidence in the results of the JIT’s work, pointing to the groundlessness of the accusations and the team’s unwillingness to use Moscow’s conclusions during the investigation.