Wednesday 19 June 2019 1:00 pm

MH17 plane crash: Investigators charge three Russians and Ukrainian

International investigators have charged three Russians and a Ukrainian in connection with the 2014 MH17 plane crash incident.

The Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down in July that year, killing the 298 people on board.

Read more: Dutch investigators confirm Buk missile brought down Malaysian Airlines plane

Investigators said they plan to start a trial in the Netherlands in March next year.

Dutch police today named suspects Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko.

They have issued an international arrest warrant and believe Ukrainian suspect, Kharchenko, is still in the country.

However, he is in eastern Ukraine, where Kiev has no authority, police said.

This means the suspects are likely to be tried in absentia as Russia has not been cooperating with the investigation.

Russia said it does not trust the investigation into the MH17 plane crash.

“Russia was unable to take part in the investigation despite expressing an interest right from the start and trying to join it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

Girkin, 48, is a former colonel in the FSB, Russia’s security service. Dubinskiy was part of Russian military intelligence GRU, which also spawned the two would-be assassins who spread the Novichok poison in Salisbury.

Pulatov was a former special forces Spetsnaz soldier, while Kharchenko, who has no military background, led a combat unit in the Donetsk region of Ukraine in July 2014.

Read more: Fragments of Russian missile system found at MH17 crash site

Investigators said that Girkin, who was at the time the so-called minister of defence for the self-proclaimed Donetsk government. He had direct contact with the Russian Federation, they said.

Their actions “led to the shooting of Flight MH17,” investigators said.