The court has considered whether additional investigation is necessary at this stage in the case. The prosecution has indicated that in its view the investigation is basically complete, and the defence contests this. The defence would like what are known as alternative scenarios to be investigated.
Requests from the prosecution and the defence
The court is granting several applications and requests. These relate to the contents of the indictment; that states the charges against the accused. Several witnesses will need to be interviewed or interviewed again, and investigations by experts shall be approved. For example, an expert will examine whether footage may have been manipulated and will check the calculation of a possible firing site.
The defence shall also be given the opportunity to view the reconstruction of the MH17 with its own expert and assess the damage. The court shall not take a decision yet on the request from the prosecution for an inspection.
Another request will also be made to the United States for the satellite footage on which the launch of a BUK missile is believed to be visible. The court has noted that the latest request for those images was in 2016. Trying again is also desirable, because the examination in court has begun.
No decision shall be taken at this time regarding a considerable number of requests by the defence. The defence is of the opinion that an interpretation different from the BUK scenario cannot be excluded. The court notes that in that case the foundations of the BUK scenario put forward by the prosecution would need to be contested first. The accused has yet to make any statement at all. His course of action during the proceedings is important. If an accused states, for example, that he was somewhere entirely different and has nothing to do with the charges against him, why would he want to investigate other scenarios?
The court would like to await this and therefore also the investigation that the defence will still request about the BUK scenario. Only then can the court determine whether the accused has an interest in the investigation, and what that interest is.
Some requests for investigation have been rejected. These include witnesses, for example, if it remains unclear why they should be interviewed again. This also concerns documents that the prosecution says it does not yet have, such as radar data.
Counsel for the relatives
The court has decided that counsel for the relatives will receive the summarizing report and indexes. Based on these documents, they can indicate which additional documents they believe are important to receive.
The court will conclude with a schedule for the coming period. On 31 August 2020 counsel for the relatives will have the opportunity
to address the court to answer questions about possible requests for damages. The prosecution and the defence may then respond. Submitting the claims, as well as how and when, will then be discussed. The progress of the defence will also be addressed as well, as well as which additional investigation requests they may have. From 28 September and 2 November this progress will be discussed. The court assumes that by 2 November the defence will in any case have had a chance to consult the accused.
In conclusion, the court will list the weeks of hearings in 2021.
Court dates 2021
· Week 5 en 6: 1 to 12 February 2021
· Week 9 to 12: 1 to 26 March 2021
· Week 15: 15 and 16 April 2021
· Week 16: 21 and 22 April 2021
· Week 19: 13 and 14 May 2021
· Week 20: 20 and 21 May 2021
· Week 21: 26 to 28 May 2021
· Week 23: 7 to 11 June 2021
· Week 24: 17 and 18 June 2021
· Week 25: 21 to 25 June 2021
· Week 26: 30 June and July 2021
· week 27: 5 to 9 July 2021
· Week 36 to 38: 6 to 24 September 2021
· Week 44 to 46: 1 to 19 November 2021
[It is nog yet known whether the court will sit every day, Circumstances may require that hearings be shortened, re-scheduled, suspended or even cancelled.]