The Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM) has asked Russia to extradite MH17 suspect Volodymyr Tsemach. The OM has informed the relatives of the air disaster. Tsemach was part of a prison exchange between Ukraine and Russia on Saturday.
Despite the fact that, following heavy Dutch pressure, the PPS had the opportunity to question Tsemach again before he left for Russia on Saturday, the Netherlands deeply regrets that Ukraine has handed over the suspect.
Tsemach could play an important role in the MH17 process, because he was an anti-aircraft commander and was in Snizhne at the time of shooting down MH17. That is a few kilometers from the location where the plane of Malaysia Airlines was shot on July 17, 2014.
A 2015 video interview would also reveal Tsemach's possible involvement in transporting the Buk launch installation to Russia. That is how the word 'buk' was squeaked away.
The OM has been insisting for some time that the Ukrainian separatist should remain available for investigation. The MH17 Flying Disaster Foundation accuses Russia of explicit opposition and obstruction by involving Tsemach in the prisoner transfer.
65Investigation team shows faces of four MH17 disaster suspects
Process starts next year
Flight MH17 crashed in July 2014 in Eastern Ukraine. In addition, all 298 passengers were killed, including 196 Dutch people.
The trial of four MH17 suspects will start in March of next year. Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko are held responsible for, among other things, transporting the rocket.