Flight MH17 victim Richard Mayne's family feel 'satisfaction but no more' after guilty verdict – Leicestershire Live

The 20-year-old student, from Western Park, Leicester, had been flying out to study maths and finance at the University of Western Australia when the Boeing 777 passenger jet was shot down
The family of a Leicester student killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was blown out of the sky by a Russian missile over eastern Ukraine say they feel "satisfaction, but no more" after three men were convicted of his murder, and that of 297 other victims, by a Dutch court.
The 20-year-old sport-loving student, from the city's Western Park, had been flying out to study maths and finance at the University of Western Australia when the Boeing 777 was brought down, killing everyone on board, on Thursday, July 17, 2014., according to his father.
Russian nationals Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and pro-Moscow Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko, were found guilty of mass murder yesterday, Thursday, November 17. It followed a trial in their absence lasting more than two years at the Hague District Court.
READ MORE: Ukrainian couple whose wedding was scuppered by war finally get to tie the knot in the UK
Commenting on the court's verdict, Simon Mayne, Richards dad, said the soldiers' convictions for murder went to "the heart of what it means for nation states to be able to deal with each other". But he added that satisfaction at the outcome of the trial was all the family felt.
Mr Mayne recalled driving his son to Birmingham Airport, on the fateful morning of the attack, for a flight to Amsterdam. Richard had been flying out to Kuala Lumpur to meet a connecting flight to Perth, where he planned to continue his studies after two years at the University of Leeds.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Mayne said: "You just want your son back. You want him back for Christmas. You want him to be able to open his present on his birthday. You want to be able to phone him up when Leicester City beat Nottingham 4-0 and have a chat with him."
Mr Mayne said Richard had been excited by the prospect of visiting Australia. He said his son was looking forward to having "the time of his life", and to "teach the Aussies how to play rugby".
Mr Mayne, who had previously expressed doubt that justice would ever be done, said that the court process had been "terribly important". He added: "It went to the very essence of what it means to be part of a free democratic state like the UK or the Netherlands."
He said his response to the verdict was "not elation" but instead a "small sense of satisfaction that I was witnessing the law in action – I was witnessing proper, civilised international states from the free world behaving as they should – so satisfaction, but no more".
Mr Mayne praised the support the family had received from the British government as "exemplary". He added: "Every aspect of what happened in the aftermath was professionally done both by the Dutch and the UK."
Loughborough University student Ben Pocock, 20, from Bristol, was also on the flight. He was studying international business and, like Richard, was also on his way to study at the University of Western Austrailia as part of his course.
Judge Hendrik Steenhuis, who presided over the trial, said the evidence confirmed that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was brought down by a Buk missile fired by pro-Moscow separatist forces. He also ruled that the Russian Government had overall control of the separatist Donetsk People's Republic where the attack was launched.
Dutch prosecutors said the missile launcher came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces based in the Russian city of Kursk and was driven back there after MH17 was shot down.
The court heard that the three soldiers were involved in bringing the missile system to the field from where it was fired, as opposed ot directly launching it themselves.
Igor Girkin, 51, the most senior of the defendants, is a former colonel in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). At the time of the atrocity, he was defence minister and commander of the armed forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The trial was told he is involved in Russia's war on Ukraine.
His two subordinates – Sergey Dubinskiy and Leonid Kharchenko – were also convicted of mass murder. Kharchenko is understood to have been the Ukrainian commander of a pro-Russia rebel combat unit which took orders directly from Dubinskiy. A fourth defendant, Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted of murder.
The three convicted men were each handed life sentences in their absence. However, the court was told they would be unlikely to serve time in jail for the offences on account of the current international political situation and the ongoing war in Ukraine, sparked by the Russian invasion in February.
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