Today, public prosecutors and investigators from the 12 countries that are involved in the investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 met at Eurojust in The Hague to discuss their judicial cooperation strategy.
Due to the crash of Flight MH17 on 17 July in Ukraine, a criminal investigation has commenced by Ukrainian, Dutch, Australian, American and Malaysian investigators. A member of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is in Ukraine to be present during the investigation. In the Netherlands, a forensic investigation is being conducted with the participation of experts from different countries.
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service has started the coordination of international cooperation, and requested the assistance of Eurojust in arranging today's coordination meeting. Eurojust is the EU's judicial coordination and cooperation agency. Its mandate is to facilitate the coordination and cooperation of the Member States, and it can also invite countries from outside the European Union to participate in coordination meetings to plan strategies in fighting serious organised crime.
At today's meeting, chaired by Mr Han Moraal, National Member for the Netherlands at Eurojust, representatives of the 11 countries whose citizens are victims - the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, UK, Belgium, Germany, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia and the USA - in addition to Ukraine, Europol and Interpol, were present.
The goal of today's meeting at Eurojust was to discuss cooperation and ways of broadening and accelerating the investigations, including the establishment of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The JIT will focus first on the technical and forensic investigation in Ukraine, the location of the criminal offence.
Mr Moraal said after the meeting: ‘Today’s coordination meeting was a vital step. It provided a valuable opportunity for prosecutors and investigators from all over the world to meet face-to-face and to further their one goal: to find out the truth about this tragedy. The task is considerable, but with such a broad approach and willingness to work together, I hope that we can cooperate in an efficient and effective way to uncover the cause of the crash and seek justice for the 298 innocent victims and their grieving families.’