A Dutch criminal court has found three former high-ranking pro-Russian separatists guilty of shooting down passenger flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 and sentenced to life in prison. A fourth defendant was acquitted. The court announced the verdict on Thursday in the absence of the accused, only the now acquitted had been represented by lawyers.
The five judges found it proven that the two convicted Russians and one Ukrainian were responsible for using the Buk anti-aircraft missile that shot down the Boeing. According to the verdict, the gun was delivered to Ukraine from the Russian military base in Kursk and brought back across the border after it was shot down.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down on July 17, 2014 while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All people on board were killed. Most of the victims came from the Netherlands, which is why the trial took place there. Several hundred relatives were in court when the verdict was pronounced. The process took two years and eight months.