JIT countries confirm their support for Dutch prosecution of MH17 suspects

On Wednesday in New York the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine confirmed their political support and cooperation with regard to the prosecution of MH17 suspects in the Netherlands. Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders joined his counterparts in signing an agreement drawn up for this purpose.

The five countries are already working together in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on the criminal investigation. By signing this written agreement they have made a long-term commitment to the prosecution and trial of those accused of downing flight MH17, agreeing to continue working in partnership to implement UN Security Council resolution 2166. Earlier this year the JIT countries decided that the prosecution and trial of the suspects would take place in the Netherlands.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr Koenders said, ‘The JIT countries are determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. This written agreement is clear evidence of that. In July we decided on a prosecution under Dutch law, but with lasting international cooperation and support. After all, the process of establishing the truth and achieving justice is not for the Dutch victims alone, but for all the victims, who came from 17 countries spread across five continents. The deaths of 298 innocent people, including 196 Dutch victims, cannot and must not go unpunished. We will continue working tirelessly to achieve justice, together with the JIT countries and with broad support from the international community.’