The trial proper has not yet begun, or has it, given that a lot of details from the case file are already be being presented? Indeed, many details have been discussed in court, but we are still in the phase where the court is ascertaining whether the case file is complete or whether further investigation needs to take place, and if so, which investigative steps exactly need to be taken.

Extensive presentation by the prosecution

Two weeks ago, the prosecution addressed that question and, in doing so, gave an extensive presentation on the investigation to date. The prosecution has investigated various scenarios and identified one as being the main scenario. That is the scenario whereby flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile fired [by DPR fighters] from an agricultural field near Pervomaisky. As far as the prosecution is concerned, the investigation is very largely complete.

Scenarios highlighted by the defence

Over the last two days, the defence has made clear that, in its opinion, many questions need yet to be put and that further investigation still needed to be done. The defence pointed to two possible scenarios that, in its view, cannot be ruled out. First of all, the “warplane” scenario, according to which a Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet was in the vicinity of flight MH17. But also, the “Ukrainian BUK” scenario, according to which flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile belonging to the Ukrainian army. The defence believes that further investigation needs to be done into these matters and that the investigation is, therefore, not yet complete. In any case, they feel that (more than 100) witnesses and experts need to be interviewed and, for example, that the defence should be given the opportunity to listen to the original Cockpit Voice Recorder tape and have it examined by experts. The defence spoke about details in the case file in the course of explaining why it believed that further investigation was necessary.

Inspection of the reconstructed aircraft

The defence also responded to certain requests previously made by the prosecution, such as the request that the reconstructed MH17 aircraft be inspected by the judges.

Next steps

The hearing will resume on Friday, 26 June at 10 a.m., when the prosecution will be given the opportunity to respond to the requests made by the defence. If necessary, the defence may present final comments the following week. Having heard those responses, it will then fall to the court to consider all requests.