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Tánaiste statement on the start of the criminal trial on the downing of flight MH 17

Tánaiste statement on the start of the criminal trial on the downing of flight MH 17


The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, commented today on the start of the criminal trial into the downing of MH17:


“The downing of Flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 claimed the lives of 298 victims from 17 nationalities, including an Irish citizen. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the families and friends of those who so tragically lost their lives on that day.


“Today, marks the start of the criminal trial. This is an important milestone towards finding the truth and establishing justice for the victims of Flight MH17 and their family, and holding those responsible for the downing of the flight to account.


“I have every confidence and trust in the independence and integrity of the Dutch legal system.


“As the criminal investigation of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) continues, I want to reiterate the call on all states to cooperate with the investigation, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2166 (2014).”




Note for Editors


  • On 17 July 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur crashed over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers, including one Irish-born passenger, lost their lives. The majority of victims were from The Netherlands (193), Malaysia (43), Australia (27), Indonesia (12) and the UK (10).


  • A criminal investigation was launched into the downing of the flight by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) led by the Netherlands, comprising investigation authorities from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia and Belgium.


  • A separate investigation into the technical cause of the crash was conducted by the Dutch Safety Board and concluded that the crash was caused by the detonation of a warhead fired from a BUK missile system.


  • On 21 July 2014, UN Security Council Resolution 2166 was passed unanimously, calling for the repatriation of remains, a comprehensive investigation, and the holding to account of those responsible.


  • On 19 June 2019, the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service announced that, on the basis of the evidence gathered by the JIT, it had decided to charge four suspects with the murder of 298 people and causing the crash of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014.


  • The Irish Ambassador to the Netherlands will represent Ireland at the commencement of the criminal trial.   

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