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Media: Judge who tried to influence MH17 trial resigns

by Martin Fornusek July 25, 2023 5:10 PM 2 min read
The national memorial to the victims of the downing of Flight MH17
The national memorial to the victims of the downing of Flight MH17 in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands, Nov. 15, 2022. (Photo credit: Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
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Dutch Judge Charlotte van Rijnberk, who was reprimanded for "undermining" the MH17 trial with conspiracy theories, will resign from her post, the newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad reported on July 25.

Van Rijnberk will step down from the Court of Appeals in The Hague by Aug. 1 after she tried to spread a conspiracy theory among judges presiding over the MH17 case that Ukraine shot down the Dutch airliner, the outlet wrote.

The plane was shot down in July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine during ongoing hostilities between Ukraine and Russia, leading to the death of 298 people on board. Russian media produced multiple false versions of the event in an attempt to blame Kyiv for the incident.

After an international investigation, a Dutch court found two Russians and one Ukrainian fighting on the Russian side guilty of shooting down the airliner with a Russia-provided Buk anti-air missile system.

One of the perpetrators, Igor "Strelkov" Girkin, has been arrested in Russia on July 21 on extremism charges, unrelated to the MH17 trial. Moscow has rejected the Dutch court's verdict.

According to Het Financieele Dagblad, 68-year-old van Rijnberk distributed a book written by her brother to judges and investigators, which portrayed the official investigation as a cover-up seeking to shift blame away from real perpetrators.

The judge was subsequently reprimanded by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, who said that van Rijnberk's acts undermined confidence in the authority and impartiality of the justice system.

Het Financieele Dagblad wrote that van Rijnberk recognized that her behavior was unacceptable and accepted a transfer to another jurisdiction at the court in The Hague.

SBU: Woman linked to MH17 case sentenced to 12 years in prison
A woman detained by Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) last June was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a court for leaking information about Ukrainian forces on the frontline in Donetsk Oblast to Russia, the SBU reported on May 9.
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