Trials linked to downing of passenger flight MH17 to be held in Netherlands

The decision follows attempts to set up an international court over the incident.

FILE: Employees of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service look at the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 two days after it crashed in a sunflower field near the village of Rassipnoe, in rebel-held east Ukraine, on 19 July 2014. Picture: AFP

BENGALURU - Suspects in the 2014 downing of passenger flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine will be tried in Dutch court and under Dutch law, the Netherlands' foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The decision follows attempts, blocked by Russia in 2015, to set up an international court over the incident, which killed all 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight. Victims came from 17 countries, and included 196 Dutch.

The Dutch Safety Board, which investigated the incident, concluded in October 2015 that the plane was downed by a Russian-made rocket. Investigators said last September that the rocket was fired from territory held by pro-Russia separatists.

Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said in a statement on Wednesday that the Dutch-led investigative team, which also includes Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine will continue to operate during the "prosecution phase." No suspects have yet been named.