Answers given by the prosecution
The prosecution answered a number of questions that had been put by the court. It explained more fully why it wanted the court to inspect the aircraft on site. It believed that it was important that the difference between the damage on the left and right sides be examined and it believed that the court would be better able to appreciate the soot deposits and impact damage on site.
The prosecution has attempted to find out more about the arrest of one of the accused. The court had also asked about an interview given by one of the other suspects. The prosecution was having that interview translated and would provide the translation to the court in due course.
The question regarding consultations between the prosecution and counsel for the relatives was also answered. They had agreed that the prosecution would provide them with the necessary information.
Questions put by the prosecution
The prosecution had raised a number of matters with the court and the court will take a decision on these at a later point in time. The prosecution maintained its earlier requests that certain witnesses be re-interviewed, and also asked whether further questions could be put to witness X48. This witness was allegedly located near the BUK missile launch site and he or she allegedly saw soldiers in a certain uniform there.
The prosecution no longer need threatened witness V11 to be interviewed anew. The council chamber of the District Court had previously ruled that that witness had wrongly been given threatened witness status and that, normally, his or her statement should be destroyed. However, the statement had already been entered in the case file. The prosecution could not see a legal mechanism by which it could now be removed from it; excluding the statement from being used as evidence was an option. The prosecution asked the court to take a decision on the matter. The prosecution also wanted the court to have the videos that were allegedly recorded in Snizhne viewed by an expert, in connection with possible image manipulation.
Request for provisional schedule
Finally, the prosecution requested a provisional schedule. It would like the court to provide information on this by 3 July 2020 at the latest. The prosecution would like the merits of the case to be heard starting in the autumn, in October and November. If the defence was not yet ready, it suggested that the court consider hearing the merits of the case concerning the other three accused in the autumn. The prosecution would like to receive information on the defence’s wishes before 22 June 2020. The prosecution would also like to receive a schedule regarding the relatives’ requests and when they would exercise their right to address the court. That is to say, when relatives will have an opportunity to address the court.
Three further questions to the prosecution
The court went on to put three more questions to the prosecution. It requested further substantiation with respect to witness M58; the prosecution’s position on whether further investigation was not required in the cases of the other accused either; and its position on whether the status of threatened witness X48 was also relevant to the cases of other accused.
The defence asked for patience and stated that it would not be able to submit all its requests before 22 June 2020. Nor was it in a position it make any statement about the date for the hearing of the merits. There was no unwillingness on the part of its client. The fact of the matter was that there were considerable impediments. They certainly understood the desire for expeditiousness.
The court brought the proceedings to a close, stating that the detailed presentations by the prosecution had been informative. It also referred to the difficulties encountered by the defence. On 22 June 2020 at 10.00 a.m. CET, the hearings would resume, and the court was confident that the defence would submit its requests to it earlier if possible. The further course of the proceedings would become known on 22 June 2020.
[This text has been modified since it was read out at today’s Day in Court session.]