Plans for MH17 suspects to be prosecuted in the Netherlands

All 298 people on board died when the plane was downed over Ukraine in 2014

Plans for MH17 suspects to be prosecuted in the Netherlands

Picture by: Daniel Reinhardt/DPA/PA Images

Those suspected of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 will be prosecuted in a Dutch court.

The Dutch foreign ministry has confirmed it will pursue the prosecutions but also said it would continue with international co-operation over the case.

The decision follows attempts, which were blocked by Russia in 2015, to set up an international court over the incident.

The Netherlands' foreign ministry said the suspects, who have not yet been named, will be tried under Dutch law.

All 298 people on board were killed when the plane was downed in eastern Ukraine, during a flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur on 17 July 2014.

The victims included people from 17 countries - 196 of the victims were Dutch.

In October 2015 the Dutch Safety Board concluded that the plane was downed by a Russian-made rocket, and in September 2016 investigators said the rocket was fired from territory held by pro-Russia separatists.

The investigation concluded the plane was shot down from the ground by a Buk missile moved into Ukraine from Russia.

It said it was unclear whether soldiers had been ordered to fire the missile or had acted independently.

The Russian foreign ministry at the time described the investigation as "biased and politically motivated", and said its findings were "dreamt up".

Foreign minister Bert Koenders said on Wednesday that the Dutch-led investigative team, which includes Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, will continue to operate during the "prosecution phase".

In a statement, he said: "The [Joint Investigation Team] countries are jointly heeding the [UN] Security Council’s call to hold those responsible for this incident to account.

"We have every confidence that we can continue to count on broad international support. And I will continue to do my utmost to ensure that this remains the case."