Relatives of the MH17 disaster are looking forward to criminal proceedings, each in their own way

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Frans and Els Beggenburg at the memorial to their son and daughter-in-law (Photo: Ferenc Trekke)

1/2 Frans and Els lost their son in the MH17 disaster: ‘Rest when the process is over’

Frans and Els Begenberg of Ostervik lost their son Sigurs and daughter-in-law Kristi van den Schor in the MH17 disaster. They look forward with great confidence to the substantive handling of the criminal trial that will begin next week. ‘I hope it ends soon. Then we can finally get some rest,” says Els.

Profilotto van Ferenc TrekkiProfile photo of Tessel Linders

Seven years later, Frans and Els Begenberg still struggle regularly. “The deficiency is only increasing,” says Els. Wounds that are already difficult to heal still open again and again. They thought for a moment to boycott everything related to MH17, says Els. “Just stay with ourselves. But you can’t get past it, it’s too big. Lots of countries involved. It’s everywhere at that moment.”

I will not take them back with it, but those responsible must be condemned.”

The substantive processing of the MH17 trial against four MH17 suspects will begin in court in Schiphol on Monday. Three Russians and a Ukrainian are suspected of killing the 298 passengers on the plane. Among them were fifty people of Brabant. In the coming days, during the MH17 test, it will mainly be about whether these four suspects were responsible, and whether it was a BUK missile that brought down the plane and around the launch site. The inspection of the reconstruction of the aircraft and identification of the victims were also discussed.

Frans and Els still wanted to follow the process, preferably from the courtroom. France does not know whether there has been a conviction or not. Oddly enough, he is satisfied with the fact that no one will disappear behind bars. “We’re not going anywhere with that. But acknowledging, and knowing who’s behind it. If it comes, that’s enough for me.” Els is basically hoping things will go a little better. “We could never have imagined that it took seven years now.”

Sjors Pijnenburg and Kristy van den Schoor
Sjors Pijnenburg and Kristy van den Schoor

Anton Coty of Eindhoven lost his son Oscar, daughter-in-law Miranda, and grandson Remko in the disaster. He hadn’t missed any moment of the trial yet. “We owe it to our relatives to bring the whole process to a successful conclusion. We will not send them back but those responsible must be punished.”

He continues: «Last year, at the beginning of the operation, we led a new sit-in center. Now that the content is about to begin, the conviction is getting closer and closer, but we are far from it.”

“It is an illusion to think that the bottom stone will appear one day.”

His son Edgar Coty looks at the issue differently. Above all, he wants clarity. I have complete confidence in the investigation and the facts on the table. If I know definitively: it is a Buk missile and was launched from the rebel zone, then it is ready for me. ”

Oscar, Miranda in Remko Kuti
Oscar, Miranda in Remko Kuti

This statement would be enough for him to give him a place. “Of course there were people below and above these four suspects: the people who gave the orders and the people who pressed the button. But it is an illusion to think that the bottom stone will appear at any time.”

“How many times must it be proven that the BUK missile brought down the plane?”

Joyce de Roux of Helmond wants nothing more. She had been missing her father, Job de Roux, since the disaster. “I hope Russia will eventually be tried or guilt will be admitted.” She is looking forward to a verdict, but initiating substantive treatment is not comfortable for her. “I’m looking forward to it,” she says. “It bothers me that a suspect’s defense is trying to expand things. How many times does it have to be proven that it was a BUK missile that brought down the plane? It doesn’t come out of nowhere,” she says angrily.

Job de Roux, Joyce's father, died in the plane crash
Job de Roux, Joyce’s father, died in the plane crash

Gwerl’s Jane and Bart Hornickx are also looking forward to the new step in the MH17 process. “But you have to go further than that,” Jane says. The couple has lost loved ones: their daughter Astrid and her boyfriend Bart Lambrigts. “It will be very exciting and very confrontational, especially the victim identification part. I am afraid to get the identification photos after the disaster, of our daughter, on the retina.”

A new chapter is about to begin in the trial, the couple knows. “Actually, it’s only starting now,” Jane says. And her husband adds, “Exciting, what’s going to happen? What’s acceptable as evidence. I hope we get a verdict soon.”

Astrid and her boyfriend Bart Lambregues
Astrid and her boyfriend Bart Lambregues

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