Written impact statements
The court noted the dozens of written impact statements that Counsel for the Relatives submitted on the previous court day, as well as the statements already received from the Prosecution. Today the court described their general content. Once again, the written impact statements – each one in its own way – impressed the court.
Requests from the Defence
On 8 December 2021 the Defence requested that all documents relating to witness S45 be provided. The Defence also asked the investigating judge to provide an official record of the circumstances concerning the decision taken about protecting this witness. The court denied those requests.
The basic premise is that the Prosecution may and should be assumed to add to the case file all relevant documents from the investigation. This principle applies, barring any indications to the contrary. The Prosecution, which is presumably aware of regulations and case law on this matter, has indicated that all documents of any possible relevance from the investigation relating to witness S45 have been presented for review to the investigating judge. Examples invoked by the Defence intended to indicate otherwise fail to make sufficiently clear that the Prosecution did not provide all relevant documents from the investigation. The Prosecution may and should therefore be taken at their word.
Nor is there any cause or need for the official record requested. After all, nothing reveals that the investigating judge by deciding to protect witness S45 took any actions or steps that necessitate answering the questions from the Defence.
Prosecution’s address and sentencing request
Today the Prosecution started delivering their address and sentencing request. The prosecutors will present the course of the investigation and the way in which they have validated the evidence obtained in that investigation. They will also speak about the decisions to prosecute the present four accused and the course of the MH17 criminal proceedings, noting the evidence, the criminal liability of the accused and their conduct. The prosecutors will detail the facts, taking into consideration the statements and views of the accused and addressing possible meritorious defence arguments. Claims submitted by the injured parties will be covered in the Prosecution’s address and sentencing request as well.
The Prosecution is expected to wrap up by formulating a sentencing request on Wednesday 22 December 2021.
The way forward
On Wednesday 22 December 2021 another summary will be published on this website. By then, the conclusions that the Prosecution associates with the evidence will be known, and the sentencing request announced will most likely have been formulated by the Prosecution as well. The court will also preview the upcoming block of hearings in 2022.