Family members listened quietly with their eyes closed, as the names of all 298 victims were read out; the Dutch have begun the trial for MH17 on Monday (9th March), with no suspects in sight.

Malaysia Airlines MH 17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down on 17th July 2014, over Ukraine by a Russian-made missile.

The wreckage was found in the fields surrounding a Ukrainian village, a territory held by pro-Russian separatists.

Although international warrants were issued for their arrest, all four suspects did not attend the trial.

Wilbert Paulissen of the Joint Investigation Team at a press conference on MH17 on Jun 19
Suspects of MH17. Source: AFP/ ANP / Robin van Lonkhuijsen via CNA

The four suspects, three of which are Russians and one is a Ukrainian, were holding senior positions in the pro-Russian militias in Eastern Ukraine.

Igor Girkin, the most high-profile suspect, was the minister of defence in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in Ukraine. The rest of the suspects were members of the separatist military intelligence unit.

Even though these suspects did not pull the trigger, the Prosecutors think that they played a “significant coordinating role” in delivering and deploying the weapon that shot down MH17.

Russia has long denied its involvement in this incident and has questioned the court of its independence.

You may catch the news report by CNA in this video here.

H/T: Reuters, Business Times, CNA, Flightglobal