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Dutch to give free legal aid for MH17 claims

AFP  |  The Hague 

The will provide free legal advice to relatives of those killed in the downing of flight MH17 over for claims, the Dutch said Monday.

The Airlines jet was shot down over war-torn eastern on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 on board.

777 passenger jet was hit by a Russian-made BUK missile while on a routine flight between and

In May 2018, the and blamed for the disaster.

"Free legal aid is being arranged for relatives wanting to add themselves to the trial" with the aim of claiming for damages, said.

The said he also asked justice policy experts within his department to investigate the consent requirements of suspects in using in the MH17 prosecution process.

Dutch lawmakers last year approved a treaty signed between the and to ease the possible prosecution of those responsible for downing MH17 -- including trying suspects through video link.

Local reports said a trial was due to start within the next five years and would take place in a Dutch court, most likely in

Grapperhaus however stressed that damage claims already paid out by parties other than the perpetrators -- such as Airlines and companies -- would not be reconsidered by the courts.

Although five countries -- Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine -- are investigating the disaster, the majority of victims on the flight were Dutch.

International investigators concluded that the BUK came from a Russian military brigade based in southwestern Kursk which crossed into Ukraine at the time.

has vehemently denied any responsibility.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 18:00 IST