Four suspects named in downing of 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine

Four suspects named in downing of 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine
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Four men have been named as suspects in the 2014 destruction of a Malaysia Airlines flight traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, police said Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported that Dutch National Police chief Wilbert Paulissen named three Russian suspects and one Ukrainian suspect at a press conference, charging them with murder in a missile attack that downed the Boeing 777 plane, killing all 298 people on board as it flew over eastern Ukraine.

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The four men are Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko, according to the news service. None of the men are in custody or are reportedly likely to appear at trial.

The Washington Post reports that all four men are thought to be in Russia, but the Kremlin is unlikely to honor an extradition request.

Multiple nations, including the Netherlands and Australia, have previously blamed the attack on Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, a charge Moscow has vehemently denied.

A trial for the four men is expected to begin in their absence next March.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE in 2015 said that Russia was “probably” to blame for the incident but added that there was little the U.S. could do to hold Russian-backed forces accountable at the time.

"They say it wasn't them," Trump told MSNBC at the time. "It may have been their weapon, but they didn't use it. They didn't fire it. They even said the [other] side fired it to blame them."

"To be honest with you, you'll probably never know for sure. It was probably Russia. It was probably people involved on the pro-Russia side," then-candidate Trump added.

Ned Price, a national security official in the Obama administration, said at the time that the plane was "shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine."