Dutch judges to deliver MH17 trial verdicts: Five things to know | Russia-Ukraine war News

On July 17, 2014, a Thursday, MH17 provider Boeing 777 took off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and was scheduled to land in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur the subsequent day.

However the doomed flight was gunned down midair over Ukraine’s Donetsk area, held by Russia-backed separatists.

All 298 individuals – 15 crew members and 283 passengers belonging to 17 nationalities – on board have been killed. Among the many passengers have been 196 Dutch nationals.

On the time, the pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a tense battle.

Ukraine and the West maintain Russia and the rebels chargeable for capturing the aircraft down; investigators have stated the Buk missile used got here from a Russian army base. Moscow has repeatedly rejected this declare.

The victims’ our bodies and fragments of the aircraft have been scattered over the sunflower fields of japanese Ukraine – a area which eight years on is as soon as once more a warfare zone as Russia’s warfare on its neighbour intensifies.

After a prolonged investigation into the case, prosecutors stated the alleged suspects – Ukrainian nationwide Leonid Kharchenko and Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov – performed a key function in supplying the missile which downed the flight.

A Dutch courtroom wanting into the legal trial of the 4 males started a case in March 2020 and judges are set to ship the decision on Thursday, from 1:30 pm native time (12:30 GMT).

Listed below are 5 issues it is best to know:

INTERACTIVE- Ukraine Russia downing of flight MH17

Why is the decision necessary?

Brechtje Van De Moosdijk, the spokesperson for the Dutch Public Prosecution Service masking the MH17 case, informed Al Jazeera the decision is necessary because it marks the primary time an unbiased judgement shall be made on what occurred to the flight.

“The courtroom is about to reply three questions: One is linked as to whether the Russians provided the missile, the second is linked to the place it was fired from and the third is the function of the suspects. These are questions we’ve got been investigating for years and tomorrow, when the judges ship their ruling, it is going to be large and produce justice to the harmless events,” she stated.

Marnie Howlett, political scientist and a lecturer on Russian and Japanese European Politics on the College of Oxford, stated the MH17 tragedy can also be a reminder that the warfare in Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014.

“After we see this MH17 verdict, it’s necessary for us to keep in mind that what is going on in Ukraine even now, just isn’t new. The MH17 being downed and several other individuals dropping their lives was already an enormous signal {that a} warfare may happen,” she informed Al Jazeera.

“After we have a look at the information of the decision and see what’s occurring in Ukraine now, we’ve got to keep in mind that this isn’t solely a nine-month battle however an eight-year-long warfare,” she added.

Who’s accused?

The 4 males allegedly concerned in gunning down the aircraft have been tried in absentia – a legal continuing when the defendant just isn’t current within the courtroom – since they’re at massive.

On the time, Igor Girkin, whose nom de guerre is Igor Strelkov, was a colonel in Russia’s Federal Safety Service (FSB) and minister of defence within the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Sergey Dubinsky can also be a former officer of Russia’s army intelligence, whereas Ukrainian nationwide Kharchenko was main a DPR fight unit and reported to Dubinsky.

All three shall be tried in absentia.

However Oleg Pulatov, who’s a former Russian intelligence officer and Dubinsky’s deputy, has agreed to be represented by his legal professionals on the trial.

In accordance with Van De Moosdijk, the prosecutors have demanded lengthy life sentences for the 4 males who’re doubtless in Russia.

“They’re all on a wished listing and could be arrested primarily based on the courtroom’s verdict, as quickly as their whereabouts are confirmed. If they’re convicted – which we don’t know but – they are often arrested once more to serve their sentence. However as we all know, Russia doesn’t enable this of their structure, making the authorized course of difficult,” she informed Al Jazeera.

Van De Moosdijk stated each the prosecutors and defence crew may elevate an enchantment towards the courtroom’s verdict if they don’t seem to be happy with the ruling.

“If there’s an enchantment, that might imply that the whole trial must be performed once more with completely different judges, making the case drag on for a lot of extra years,” she added.

In accordance with the Reuters information company, Pulatov’s authorized crew has already been arguing that the trial thus far has been unfair and never correctly examined.

What do the victims need?

Households of the victims have been ready eight years for this courtroom verdict and Thursday’s resolution may deliver solace to many, stated Van De Moosdijk.

“We’ve been having conferences with the victims’ households from the start of the case and have made it our precedence to share our findings from the investigation and in addition made them conscious of how the Dutch authorized system works,” she informed Al Jazeera.

“Whereas lots of them are conscious that the suspects are at massive, the households discover it necessary for the courtroom to determine what occurred and maintain the responsible accountable.”

Grieving households of the victims from internationally are anticipated to assemble on the high-security courtroom close to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the place the flight took off, to listen to the Dutch judges ship their verdict.

For individuals who can’t be current, the courtroom has ensured that the decision, which shall be delivered in Dutch, is livestreamed and translated into English.

Furthermore, if the suspects are discovered responsible, the courtroom is predicted to announce the ultimate compensation relevant to the victims’ households.

This sum may very well be between 30,000 to 40,000 euros ($31,000 to $41,500), however the victims’ legal professionals have requested for the next sum, stated Van De Moosijk.

Is Russia on trial?

The Dutch courtroom’s MH17 verdict comes at a tense time, with Ukraine persevering with to battle a Russian offensive.

Howlett factors out that whereas a lot of the dialog in regards to the verdict is whether or not the suspects shall be imprisoned or whether or not Russia shall be held accountable, the actual fact a authorized investigation was carried out within the first place is important.

“Many international locations just like the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia and others took half in investigating the case and the authorized trial happening is admittedly necessary. The truth that exterior international locations have actually gone by way of these processes to attempt these people additionally reveals that the West is enthusiastic about Ukraine and that they’re backing them of their combat towards Russia,” she stated.

“Whereas the West does consider within the rule of regulation, Russia doesn’t uphold it. So the decision, no matter it might be, won’t be upheld in Russia, escalating political tensions. However we’ve got to attend and watch,” she added.

What we are able to be taught from this case?

Eight years on, the MH17 case has important classes, in accordance with Howlett and Van De Moosdijk.

“Delivering this verdict is necessary for the people who misplaced their lives and for his or her households and international locations ready for justice. However it is usually a lesson for the West in regards to the significance of with the ability to examine this case freely. That is one thing Ukrainians and others who’ve skilled crimes are basically combating for proper now,” Howlett informed Al Jazeera.

Van De Moosdijk stated: “5 international locations cooperating legally in investigating a case could be difficult. However there was good cooperation with every bit of proof being validated repeatedly and completely.

“Within the pursuit of fact, you will need to keep in mind that the method can take very lengthy, with thorough investigations. However ultimately, this lengthy course of is necessary not just for victims of crime however for our societies as a complete.”

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 266 | Russia-Ukraine war News

Right here is the scenario because it stands on Wednesday, November 16.

Explosion in Poland

  • A missile that hit Poland killing two folks was most likely a Ukrainian air defence missile and there was no proof to recommend the incident was an intentional assault by Russia, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda stated.
  • The Russian defence ministry denied the stories, describing them as “a deliberate provocation aimed toward escalating the scenario”.
  • NATO referred to as an emergency assembly to debate the explosion and doable subsequent steps.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated Russia fired at the least 85 missiles on Tuesday, principally directed at power infrastructure, together with within the western metropolis of Lviv, near the border with Poland.

Missile assaults

  • Missiles hit cities together with the capital, Kyiv, Lviv and Rivne within the west, Kharkiv within the northeast, Kryvyi Rih and Poltava within the centre, Odesa and Mykolaiv within the south, and Zhytomyr within the north, in what Ukraine stated was the heaviest wave of missile assaults in almost 9 months of struggle.
  • Greater than a dozen Ukrainian areas reported power outages after missiles hit, affecting cities collectively populated by hundreds of thousands. About half of the Kyiv area misplaced energy.
  • Moldova stated it’s experiencing electrical energy outages because of Russian assaults on power infrastructure in neighbouring Ukraine and referred to as on Moscow to cease its assaults, saying, “Each bomb falling on Ukraine can also be affecting Moldova and our folks.”

INTERACTIVE - Russian missile strikes across Ukraine - NOV 15


  • Civil servants working for the Russian-installed administration in Nova Kakhovka, the second-largest metropolis in Ukraine’s southern Kherson area, left together with 1000’s of residents due to preventing.
  • Russia is now engaged in a defensive operation in Ukraine following its withdrawal from Kherson metropolis, a Western official stated, after Zelenskyy promised to reclaim all of Ukraine’s occupied territory.
  • Russia and Ukraine have tortured prisoners of war in the course of the battle in Ukraine, the Workplace of the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights stated, citing examples of mistreatment together with beatings, using electrical shocks and compelled nudity.
  • The governor of the Belgorod area of southern Russia, Vyacheslav Gladkov, stated two folks had been killed and three wounded by shelling in a city close to the border with Ukraine.
  • The EU ramped up its help to Ukraine by launching a military assistance mission, the place as much as 15,000 Ukrainian troopers will probably be skilled in several European member states.


  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the wave of Russian assaults on a number of cities throughout Ukraine with Ukrainian overseas minister Dmytro Kuleba.
  • UN Secretary Basic Antonio Guterres is “very involved” on the stories of the missile explosion in Poland.
  • Russia and Ukraine accused each other of extending the struggle on the G20 talks in Bali, with the 2 nations setting out their necessities for peace.
  • European Union nations ought to work collectively in replenishing their army inventories and keep away from competing with one another amid persevering with arms deliveries to Ukraine, the EU’s high diplomat stated.

China’s businesses get top billing at World Cup after team flops | Qatar World Cup 2022

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – China will not be sending a facet to Qatar, however Chinese language companies can have prime billing as sponsors on the 2022 World Cup.

Chinese language manufacturers are the largest sponsors of this month’s match — even outspending the slate of American corporations that features iconic names similar to Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Budweiser.

China’s sponsors have ponied up $1.395bn for the competitors, which runs November 20-December 18, surpassing the $1.1bn spent by US corporations, in response to International Information, a London-based information analytics and consulting firm.

Damaged down on an annual foundation, Chinese language sponsorship is valued at $207m per yr, in contrast with Qatari and US offers price $134m and $129m, respectively, in response to the info.

China’s company dominance on the competitors displays the aspirations of its manufacturers to increase their recognition abroad to a stage that matches their rising measurement and attain.

The rise of Chinese language sponsors additionally parallels President Xi Jinping’s dream of turning China, which made its sole World Cup look in 2002, right into a soccer powerhouse by means of bold plans and targets, similar to rising the variety of faculties with soccer pitches 10-fold by 2025.

Whereas the 4 Chinese language sponsors of the 2022 match — Wanda Group, Vivo, Mengniu Dairy and Hisense — have comparatively low profiles outdoors their house nation, they’re enormous enterprises with multibillion-dollar revenues and hundreds of workers.

Wanda Group, an industry-spanning conglomerate based in 1988, and Mengniu, one in all China’s largest dairy producers, have every made the Fortune 500 listing a number of occasions.

Wanda advertising on the sidelines of a football pitch.
Chinese language corporations similar to Wanda Group are a few of FIFA’s greatest sponsors [File: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]

“The World Cup works for Chinese language corporations each outdoors but additionally inside China as soccer has a big following with Chinese language audiences,” Martin Roll, a branding knowledgeable and marketing consultant primarily based in Singapore, advised Al Jazeera.

“It alerts strongly that these Chinese language manufacturers are taking part in at world scale, and showcasing that to Chinese language audiences play an vital function. Being a sponsor and a advertising companion of the World Cup is just for a specific few manufacturers that may afford it, so simply being a part of it, is an affidavit to the aspirations of the Chinese language manufacturers.”

Chinese language corporations hope an affiliation with the gorgeous recreation might assist them shed damaging perceptions concerning the “made in China” tag, mentioned Paul Temporal, a branding knowledgeable at Oxford College’s Saïd Enterprise Faculty.

“Sports activities sponsorships enable Chinese language manufacturers to attach with world audiences that share common love of sports activities experiences in emotional settings. Soccer crosses all cultural boundaries and offers huge world attain,” Temporal advised Al Jazeera.

“Chinese language manufacturers have realized from western counterparts that, though costly to realize entry to the world’s greatest occasions, sports activities sponsorships do ship long-term outcomes each for the model house owners and the nation. Manufacturers that go world are model ambassadors for China and if profitable when it comes to world market share, can have a constructive impact on nationwide model picture.”


The most important Chinese language sponsor in Qatar by far is Wanda Group, one of many seven official FIFA Companions — the very best sponsorship tier — alongside Coca-Cola, Adidas, Hyundai, Kia, Qatar Airways, QatarEnergy, and Visa.

The Beijing-based conglomerate, which has investments in actual property, leisure, media, manufacturing and monetary providers, has dedicated $850m as a part of a 15-year deal that covers all World Cup occasions up till 2030, in response to International Information.

Vivo, a client electronics firm primarily based within the southern metropolis of Dongguan, is spending an estimated $450m as a part of a six-year deal that included the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup.

Mengniu, which has its headquarters in Hohhot, Inside Mongolia, and Hisense, an electronics producer primarily based in Qingdao, have dedicated to spend an an estimated $60m and $35m, respectively.

“Many Chinese language corporations grew globally by buying overseas manufacturers. Lenovo and Haier have adopted this strategy along with their very own model constructing,” Carlos Torelli, a professor of selling on the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised Al Jazeera, referring to China’s widespread private pc and client electronics manufacturers.

“That makes it simpler to penetrate world markets with a longtime model. Nonetheless, many different Chinese language manufacturers try to construct their very own manufacturers and occasions just like the World Cup are good ones to create consciousness amongst massive audiences. Collaborating in these occasions can facilitate future market expansions.”

Whereas photo voltaic panel producer Yingli Photo voltaic turned China’s first World Cup sponsor on the 2010 match in South Africa, Chinese language corporations started to make their presence known in a big way at the 2018 competition in Russia.

After main manufacturers, together with Sony, Emirates and Johnson & Johnson, dropped FIFA in 2014 and 2015 amid allegations of corruption within the bidding course of for the Russia and Qatar tournaments, Chinese language corporations crammed the funding hole.

Shortly after Wanda Group signed its mega-sponsorship deal in 2016, firm founder Wang Jianlin mentioned the controversies had been an “alternative” for Chinese language corporations that beforehand might have by no means had the prospect to assist the match “even when we wished to”.

Wang Jianlin
Wanda Group founder Wang Jianlin described controversy surrounding FIFA as an ‘alternative’ for Chinese language manufacturers [File: Thomas Peter/Reuters]

No fewer than seven Chinese language corporations sponsored the 2018 competitors, spending an estimated $835m — excess of US and Russian manufacturers.

Chinese language corporations maintained their robust displaying on the 2021 Copa América, South America’s greatest soccer match, making up three of the 4 official sponsors.

Kuaishou, TCL Expertise and Sinovac discovered themselves shouldering the majority of the sponsorship duties after a number of huge sponsors, together with Mastercard and Diageo, pulled out amid controversy over the well being dangers posed to gamers by COVID-19.

Forward of Qatar 2022, Chinese language manufacturers have once more proven themselves to be extra hesitant to wade into debates about human rights than their company counterparts elsewhere.

Not like Budweiser, Adidas, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s, Chinese language sponsors haven’t expressed assist for a Human Rights Watch marketing campaign that calls on FIFA and Qatar to compensate migrant staff and their households for deaths and accidents that occurred in the course of the World Cup preparations.

Qatar’s authorities has mentioned it has made “substantial progress” on labour reforms and it continues to work with nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to “make sure that these reforms are far-reaching and efficient”. Qatari officers have additionally denied allegations of corruption in their World Cup bid.

“Many world manufacturers are cautious of not getting right into a political debate about their assist, so they might have been extra hesitant to hitch as sponsors,” Roll mentioned.


Nigel Currie, director of sports activities advertising and sponsorship company NC Partnership, mentioned, nevertheless, that main sponsors from throughout the globe had been finally selecting to stay with the match as a result of enormous enterprise alternatives concerned.

“There may be controversy surrounding the staging of the World Cup in Qatar. Nonetheless, would Coca-Cola pull out and danger Pepsi stepping in?” Currie advised Al Jazeera.

“Would Visa give up their place and permit Mastercard again? The motorized vehicle class is vastly aggressive and any variety of world automobile corporations could be eager to take over from Hyundai Kia. The identical argument might be made for a number of different product classes. The straightforward reality is that World Cup offers are accomplished over a number of World Cups and are designed to exclude opponents and supply main manufacturers with an unique and elite alternative to achieve billions of individuals world wide.”

Josh Gardner, the CEO and co-founder of China-focused consultancy Kung Fu Information, mentioned he anticipated Chinese language manufacturers to maintain rising in worldwide prominence as they “search methods to construct a stronghold past the homeland”.

“This isn’t in contrast to a parallel development of Chinese language manufacturers inking sponsorship agreements with Hollywood,” Gardner advised Al Jazeera, pointing to product placements involving Vivo, immediate messenger Tencent QQ and e-commerce firm Jingdong.

“Recall the various Marvel and DC motion pictures that includes labels similar to Vivo and QQ and plastering the Jingdong emblem throughout fictional skyscrapers on the massive display.”