THE HAGUE, July 21:
The Dutch public prosecutor’s office said Monday it had opened a preliminary criminal probe into the downing of flight MH17 over rebel-held Ukraine, which left 298 people dead, most of them Dutch.
“An officer from the prosecutor’s office, Thijs Berger, is in Kiev at the moment,” spokesman Wim de Bruin said.
Under Dutch law, the Netherlands can prosecute war crimes suspects, even for alleged crimes committed abroad, if one or more victims is Dutch.
There were 193 Dutch citizens on the doomed plane, which is believed to have been brought down by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists.
Rebels have been accused of hindering access to the crash site and bodies since the plane came down on Thursday.
The prosecutor’s office could not say what Berger would do in Ukraine as part of the probe.