The man responsible for the fatal Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash has been sentenced to life in prison.
Alberto Guevara, 53, is one of five men found guilty of manslaughter in the crash of Flight MH17, which killed all 298 people on board.
The sentences are the culmination of a lengthy legal battle that has pitted the families of the victims and the families and friends of those who died against the aviation industry and the Malaysian government.
Allegations of misconduct and negligence have dogged the crash investigation, which was set up to investigate the crash on 17 July 2014, and resulted in a major government probe.
Al Jazeera’s Rob Wainwright, reporting from Amsterdam, said that the court’s decision to impose a sentence was the first step in a long process.
“In fact, the trial itself has been going on for more than four years now, and the judge in the case has been on the case for five years, and so there’s a long road ahead,” he said.
“So the question is whether this case has a strong chance of being resolved in the end.”
A defence lawyer told the court that Gueva had been found not guilty of “aggravated manslaughter” – the same charge as which he was charged.
He said that Guesa’s actions were not only criminal, but also immoral and an affront to humanity.
Alvarez was also found not to have committed an act of “deliberate murder” in relation to the crash.
The verdict came after an eight-day trial, which lasted two weeks.
The court heard that the prosecution had been able to prove that Alvarez, who had a history of alcohol abuse, was drunk when he drove the Boeing 777 to the ground, and that his actions were deliberate, as he had not been able for several hours to stop his car and get to the airfield.
In addition to the manslaughter conviction, Alvarez has also been found guilty in relation with his involvement in the death of a passenger in the doomed flight, Anton Chiriac, in a separate incident.
The three men who pleaded guilty are also to face charges of “reckless endangerment” and “criminal negligence” in connection with the crash and its aftermath.
Alviacar, a Malaysian-born businessman, was convicted of “insulting the memory of a deceased person”, “criminal damage” and for “failing to stop or provide assistance in time to save lives” during the crash, the court heard.
He also faces the possibility of a three-year prison sentence.
He was released on bail last month.
Alvaro Guevarra, who is also on trial, has been accused of “accidental death” and has been banned from flying for life, the Associated Press news agency reported.