The conviction of three Russians and a separatist Ukrainian in the shooting down of flight MH17 in summer 2014 is an important step but not a final conclusion, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said following the verdict.
A Dutch judge found the three men guilty of mass murder in the downing of the plane, which killed all 298 people onboard, mainly of them Dutch nationals.
“The verdict in the MH17 trail has been long awaited. It is good that this point has now been reached. This is yet another step in the pursuit of the truth and justice for the victims and their loved ones. But it is also another difficult and distressing day for many of the families and friends of the 298 people who lost their lives on that terrible day, 17 July 2014,” he said in a statement.
He warned that all parties have the right to appeal. “But to reiterate, an important step has been taken today, and hopefully it will feel that way to the victim’s next of kin too,” he added.