On the Criminal Trial of Four Suspects in the MH-17 Case

298 empty chairs, each chair for one of the 298 victims of the downed Malaysia Air flight MH17, are placed in a park opposite the Russian embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, Sunday, March 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The United States Welcomes the Criminal Trial of Four Suspects in the MH-17 Case

As prepared for delivery by Ambassador James S. Gilmore III
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
March 12, 2020

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States would like to join the Netherlands and others today in welcoming the March 9 commencement of the criminal trial in Amsterdam of four individuals indicted for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 in July 2014. As the trial begins, we recall the UN Security Council’s demand that “those responsible … be held to account and that all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability.” All of those indicted are members of Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine. We call upon all OSCE participating States to cooperate in efforts to establish accountability, in accordance with UNSCR 2166.

Mr. Chair, this trial is a critical moment in the search for justice for the families and friends of the 298 individuals who lost their lives on July 17, 2014. We have the utmost confidence in the Dutch legal system to establish the truth and to do justice in this case. We support the ongoing investigatory work of the Joint Investigation Team comprised of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine. We again urge Russia to cease its continuing aggressive and destabilizing activities in Ukraine.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.