Perpetrators of MH17 air disaster to serve sentence in Ukraine

The Verkhovna Rada has ratified an agreement between Ukraine and the Netherlands according to which the persons found guilty of the MH-17 catastrophe by the court in the Netherlands will serve their sentences in Ukraine.
241 MPs voted in favor of the corresponding bill (No.0194) to ratify the agreement in a plenary session on Thursday.

The agreement stipulates that the central government bodies in Ukraine through which requests for legal assistance will be sent are the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice. In the Netherlands, it will be the Ministry of Justice and Security.

The agreement notes that the Netherlands has competence to prosecute persons for crimes related to the catastrophe which took place over the Donbas on July 17, 2014. For this purpose, Ukraine can transfer the criminal proceedings on the basis of the European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters, and also at the Netherlands’ request.

According to the agreement, the accused who are located in Ukraine and whose extradition to the Netherlands is not permitted can take part in the court hearings in the Netherlands by means of video conferencing. The document specifies how a court investigation involving video conferencing is to be organized, and how witnesses and experts are to testify in this format. Furthermore, the agreement determines the format for requests to transfer the sentence enforcement, and rules concerning detention.
Sentences will be served in Ukraine according to Ukrainian legislation and will also replace the sentence execution in the Netherlands. The agreement also prescribes the rules for organizing and calculating the prison time for crimes related to the downing of the plane.

  Ukraine, Russia, MH-17, The Netherlands