Australians whose loved ones died when MH17 was shot down will relive their devastating heartbreak in an upcoming trial.
Sunday will mark seven years since the Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down by a BUK missile fired from the Russian-backed separatist area in eastern Ukraine.
The plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur exploded and crashed, killing all 298 on board, including 38 Australian residents.
Three Russians and a Ukrainian national, all suspected of key roles in the separatist forces, are on trial, which will resume in the Netherlands in September.
All four have denied any involvement.
The Australian Foreign Affairs Department has provided assistance to families of victims who wish to participate in the trial, which is being heard in the court of The Hague.
Perth youths Evie (left) Mo and Otis Maslin (pictured) were on their way home with their grandfather Nick Norris, 68, when MH17 was shot down
It’s been seven years since aerospace engineer Fatima Dyczynski’s life was cut short in Perth
Frankie Davison and her husband, Liam, were also involved in the tragedy
The federal government has yet to confirm how many Australian family members will attend the trial, The Western Australian reported.
But the families of the victims who are reliving their heartbreak will not face the four men who are being tried in absentia because of Russia’s refusal to extradite them.
During the hearings, compensation claims from 299 relatives of the victims are also discussed.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne made a joint statement with her colleagues from Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine to commemorate the MH17 victims on Sunday.
“We…whose countries make up the Joint Investigation Team, today celebrate the seventh anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which tragically killed 298 passengers and crew,” the statement said.
“Our thoughts go out to those who died on board, their families and loved ones.”
Shaliza Dewal (left), 45, and her Dutch husband Hans Van Den Hende (center) were traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with their three children, Piers, 15, (top right) and Marnix, 12, (top back) and daughter Margaux, 8, (top center)
Melbourne couple Albert and Marie Rizk (pictured) were among the 38 Australian residents killed
Malaysian Airlines plane MH 17 was shot down in 2014 by a BUK missile fired by Russian-backed separatists over eastern Ukraine. Pictured is the smoldering rubble
“While nothing can bring back those who have lost their lives, or lessen the fear and grief of the relatives, it is imperative that we remain steadfast in our commitment to the pursuit of truth, justice and responsibility.
“We acknowledge the cooperation of our respective investigative agencies and reiterate our full support for their efforts to establish the truth of what happened.
“We also have full confidence in the independent, open and impartial criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators.
“We once again express our deepest condolences and condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of the downing of flight MH17.”
The pilot had previously heard that distinctive steel fragments from BUK missiles matched missiles found from the plane’s cockpit.
Phone conversations allegedly conducted between the four suspects were also re-enacted in the courtroom.
‘Experts have stated that the impact on the trunk [of the plane] compatible with a Buk missile system and a Buk warhead,” Judge Hendrik Steenhuis told the court in June.
“No damage has been found that does not fit that scenario, or that would indicate a different scenario.”
MH17 passenger Edel Mahady (left) returned to Perth for the start of the school year. Queenslanders Howard Horder and his wife Susan, both 63 (pictured right) were also on board flight MH17 when it was shot down
Sydneysider Jack O’Brien (left) returned from the overseas adventure of his life, while Liliane Derden (right) was a civil servant from Canberra
Teacher Emma Bell (left) was returning from a trip to Europe to start the new school year in Arnhem Land, while Dutch teacher Dafne Nieveen (right) was killed while flying home to Perth.
The trial follows a five-year international criminal investigation by a Joint Investigation Team, made up of officials from Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ukraine and Malaysia.
After years of collecting evidence, a team of international investigators concluded in May 2018 that the rocket launcher used to shoot down the plane belonged to the 53rd Russian Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade.
A report released three years earlier revealed that Russian BUK missiles had smashed just inches from the cockpit and, alarmingly, said passengers were conscious for up to a minute after the attack.
Russia denied any involvement.
Aerospace engineer Fatima Dyczynski from Perth returned to Australia on MH17 after setting up her own high-tech company in the Netherlands.
Her parents Jerzy and Angela devoted the months following her death to their own investigation into whether the crash could have been prevented.
‘We ask ourselves every day: What our daughter? [Fatima] would consider and investigate to find real answers to this non-linear criminal chaos of the targeted attack on MH 17, a civilian airliner?’ her family previously told Daily Mail Australia.
Nick Norris (left) was on his way back to Perth traveling with his three grandchildren while Helena Sidelik (right) was traveling home from a friend’s wedding in Europe, back to the Gold Coast where she lived
Melbourne couple Emiel Mahler and girlfriend Elaine Teoh (right), both 27, were on their way to a wedding in Malaysia
Retired Wollongong couple Michael and Carol Clancy (pictured) were on a three-week European vacation at the time
Jack O’Brien, 25, from Old Toongabbie in western Sydney, was on his way home from a ‘fantastic’ seven-week backpacking trip across Europe when his life was short-lived
“It’s been on our minds: What were the moments in Jack’s life like? What did he know most about what happened?’ his mother Meryn previously told Daily Mail Australia.
”And in some ways that’s still a bit unanswered. But yes, there is still a certain amount of uncertainty that we will live with for the rest of our lives.’
“We can’t go back to who we were.”
Queenslanders Wayne and Theresa Baker (pictured) recently retired when their lives were cut short
Dutchman Itamar Avnon (left) was traveling to Israel for a wedding and stopped in Amsterdam to visit friends before boarding flight MH17, while Melbourne-based IT security consultant Marco Grippeling (right) was one of 10 Victorian residents who died in the flight MH17 disaster
Perth youths Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, who were up, were on their way home with their grandfather Nick Norris, 68, when their lives were cut short.
Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris conferred hours after finding out whether they would jump off an Amsterdam roof separately or together.
“Where we were was hell,” Mrs. Norris told ABC’s Australian story in 2019.
Fortunately, they decided not to inflict the heartbreaking pain they felt on other loved ones and welcomed another child, Violet, in 2016.
“Violet was born three days after Mo’s 14th birthday and four days before Evie’s 12th birthday,” Ms Norris told the program.
“I’ll never forget holding her in my arms and feeling a little moment of peace that I hadn’t felt in so long. “It was like, ‘Wow, a little peace has come back into my life.’