Defense lawyers in MH17 plane trial seek more investigations

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Lawyer Sabine ten Doesschate said she and the defense team would have more requests for further investigations in the future after they have been able to travel to Russia to speak with Pulatov. She said lawyers have not been able to visit Pulatov because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

After years of investigations by an international team, prosecutors last year named four suspects: Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Pulatov as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. None of them have appeared for their trial, which started in March and is still at a preliminary stage.

At trial hearings earlier this month, prosecutors outlined in detail how the international investigation ruled out other theories and concluded that a Buk missile trucked into Ukraine from a Russian military base was used to shoot down the plane.

But another of Pulatov’s defense attorneys, Boudewijn van Eijck, accused investigators of tunnel vision in focusing on that theory and not adequately checking out other possible causes, such as the possibility that MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet or another missile.

Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis adjourned the case until Friday, when judges are expected to rule on the defense requests.

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