The Netherlands demand that Russia extradite witness in MH17 crash case

The Netherlands demand that Russia extradite witness in MH17 crash case
Vladimir Tsemakh Photo: NOS

The Netherlands Prosecutor’s Office demanded that Russia extradite ex-Air Defense Commander of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) Vladimir Tsemakh, who is a witness in the case of the Malaysian Boeing MH17 crash in Donbass in 2014.

The Netherlands Prosecutor’s Office demanded that Russia extradite ex-Air Defense Commander of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) Vladimir Tsemakh, who is a witness in the case of the Malaysian Boeing MH17 crash in Donbass in 2014. This is reported by Dutch media publications NOS and De Volkskrant.

The day before, Tsemakh arrived at Moscow Vnukovo Airport as part of a round of prisoner exchange with Ukraine. Before departure, investigators from the Netherlands managed to interrogate him several times. According to a Security Service of Ukraine representative, Russia threatened to terminate the exchange negotiations in case of refusal to release him.

In a letter to parliamentarians, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok stated that the government “deeply regrets” the transfer of Tsemakh to Russia. Ukraine had to delay the exchange for his interrogation, which they planned to finish by the end of August. He is no longer available for questioning in the case of MH17, Blok wrote.

Tsemakh, who was released from custody on September 5, was among 35 people recently transferred from Kyiv to Moscow as part of an exchange of prisoners. The lists of those who arrived in Vnukovo were not officially published by Russia. The Military Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine revealed the names of 13 people, in respect of whom the investigation had been completed. Ukrainskaya Pravda and BBC Ukraine have published their own versions of the list — it included 12 Russians, 22 Ukrainians, and a citizen of Moldova.

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