Adding documents to the file
- witness S43
As no documents have been submitted to the court concerning this witness, the court cannot determine the relevance for the file. The court has therefore not taken a decision to add documents to the case file concerning this witness.
- witnesses S42 and S45
The court considers the documents concerning these witnesses to be relevant and is instructing that redacted official reports be added to the file
- Wagner documents and the statement by the grandfather of Muchkaev
Given the explanation from the Prosecution, the court does not consider these documents to be relevant to any decision to be taken by the court in this case. The request that these documents be added to the case file is denied. The Prosecution should, however, provide these documents to the Defence, so that the Defence can form its own opinion about the possible relevance.
- video of accused Girkin
In this video the accused speaks about a period much later than the downing of the MH17. This video is not relevant for any decision to be taken by the court in this case. The request to add the official report about this video to the file is denied.
- Three intercepted phone conversations attributed to A. Borodai
These phone conversations, which according to the Prosecution were conducted on 17 and 24 July 2014 by Borodai, at the time prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, are relevant for any decision to be taken by the court and should have been added to the file much earlier. The court instructs that these documents be added.
The court provided a brief summary of what is stated in the documents added to the file.
Requests from the Defence
- witness M58
With respect to this witness, the investigating judge has determined that for security reasons certain information may not be disclosed. Providing the audio recording of the interviews with this witness to a behavioural expert to be designated by the Defence is not compatible with the decision by the investigating judge. This request is denied.
A verbatim record of the transcriptions of the police interviews with this witness is, taking into account security aspects, very laborious. The interviews have been included extensively in the case file. As the Defence therefore has insufficient interest, this request is denied as well.
The Prosecution should, however, inform the Defence whether the images added as an annex to the interviews with the witness are indeed the images shown to the witness. If the quality of the images in the file differs from that of those shown to the witness, the Prosecution will need to present the Defence and the court with the images actually shown.
- witnesses S42 and S45
The request to interview witness S45, the team leader, and the source of S42 is denied. The Defence does not have sufficient interest in this, because the source of S42 is unknown, and witness S45 has no independent knowledge about the possible role of the 53rd brigade in the alleged launch of a BUK-TELAR and moreover varies greatly in his statements.
About the witness Muchkaev
The witness Muchkaev is the one who is able to speak based on personal knowledge about the possible involvement of the 53rd brigade in the alleged launch of a BUK-TELAR. On 10 August 2021 the investigating judge learned from the Russian authorities that ‘measures are being taken concerning the possibility of complying with this request.’ The court is of the opinion that, considering this reaction, in the present situation examining the witness may not yet reasonably be expected to be possible within the near future. The court has extended the term within which that should happen until 10 February 2022.
Consequences this will have for the schedule
The Prosecution has indicated that it will present its submissions only once the investigation deemed necessary by the court has in fact been concluded. Given the deadline within which the witness Muchkaev will need to be interviewed, this would be possible on 9, 10 and 11 February 2022.
The Defence believes that adjusting the schedule is not intrinsically necessary, but that if the court decides to reschedule the Prosecution’s address, this should lead the Defence’s oral pleadings to be rescheduled accordingly.
Counsel for the Relatives
Counsel for the Relatives has stated that the schedule may go ahead with respect to exercising the right to address the court on 8 November. This does not apply, as far as the Counsel for the Relatives is concerned, to the explanation regarding the claims by the injured parties. Counsel for the Relatives would like this explanation to be scheduled shortly before the period of the address by the Prosecution.
Decision by the court
The court indicates that on 8 November 2021, as planned, the relatives may exercise their right to address the court. In the block of hearings starting on 8 December 2021 Counsel for the Relatives may elaborate on the claim from the injured parties. In all other respects, the court is postponing every decision concerning the schedule of the Prosecution’s address and the Defence’s oral pleadings pending further developments.
The court has adjourned the hearing until 8 November at 10:00 hours. Then relatives will exercise their right to address the court.
Watch the livestream footage here:
Livestream 2 November 2021 part 1
Livestream 2 November 2021 part 2