Prosecutors say the suspects, three Russians and a Ukrainian, helped arrange the Russian missile system used to shoot down MH17, a civilian aircraft. The suspects are believed to be in Russia and are not expected to attend.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Moscow rebels amid fighting in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard. Russia has denied any involvement.
The judges’ first order of business will be to verify whether the suspects have appointed lawyers to defend them, and to lay out a timetable for the case to proceed.
A Dutch-led international Joint Investigation (JIT) team spent years collecting evidence before issuing arrest warrants last year for the four suspects: Russians Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Igor Girkin, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
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