Aust detectives could help MH17 trial

Forensic evidence from MH17 collected by Australian investigators forms part of the crash probe.
Forensic evidence from MH17 collected by Australian investigators forms part of the crash probe.

Australian detectives could be called to give evidence in the trial of four Russian-linked separatist officials accused of murdering 298 people when flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Dutch prosecutors have charged Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonie Kharachenko over the July 17, 2014 disaster, in which 38 Australians died.

Detective Superintendent David Nelson, the lead Australian officer on the multinational Joint Investigation Team, says Australian evidence forms an important part of the massive case file.

"There's a possibility that Australian Federal Police officers may be called to give evidence," Det Supt Nelson told AAP.

"(However) unlike Australia where a lot of police witnesses give evidence in court, that seems not be the case under the Dutch judicial system - a lower number of police witnesses get called. So it's a little different."

Det Supt Nelson confirmed that either way, Australian police statements and evidence form part of the case file, which is over 150 lever arch folders.

Evidence uncovered by Australian detectives includes forensics relating to victim identification, AFP Assistant Commissioner Peter Crozier said.

He said Australian investigators also played a big part in tracing the source of the Buk launcher that fired the fatal missile back to the Russian 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade's base in the city of Kursk.

"Right from the very start our people have been involved in the investigation ... we've been heavily involved in this," Mr Crozier told AAP.

"So there's a possibility (of Australian police giving evidence) but it's just a case of whether the evidence that's required to be tested will be tested. Some of it might just be accepted. So we'll wait and see."

The four men's trial is set to begin in The Hague on March 9.

Australian Associated Press