Lawyers representing MH17 relatives intimidated; Russia suspected
Lawyers representing the relatives of the MH17 disaster victims were intimidated in multiple incidents. The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) believes Russia is behind the intimidation, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research.
According to the broadcaster, the intimidation is likely linked to the relatives' chance to speak in the MH17 trial last month. Until that time, the group of lawyers representing them was not part of the trial.
On September 22, the NCTV invited the eight lawyers representing the relatives for a presentation. In that presentation, the NCTV said that Russia tried in various ways to hinder and intimidate the lawyers and offered to include them in a security program.
During that meeting, the lawyers mentioned several incidents, some of which they hadn't tied to the MH17 case until just then. Two reported that cars followed them from an MH17 hearing at the high-security court near Schiphol to their private homes. That had been reported to the NCTV. Another noticed men in sunglasses lingering around his home. A total of four incidents were reported to the NCTV, according to the broadcaster.
The NCTV told RTL that it did not expect physical violence against the lawyers. The lawyers declined to comment to the broadcaster.