Prosecutors say the one Ukrainian and three Russian defendants, who are all at large, helped supply a missile system that Russian-backed separatists used to fire a rocket at the plane on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board were killed.
The prosecution is seeking life terms for all suspects.
The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit over the rebel-held Donetsk region by what international investigators say was a Russian-made surface-to-air missile. The eastern region has also become a key focus of Russia's nearly six-month war in Ukraine.
Most of the victims on board MH17 were Dutch nationals. The Dutch government holds Russia responsible. Authorities in Moscow deny any involvement.
The MH17 case has seriously strained the Netherlands' diplomatic relations with Moscow, even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine that started on Feb. 24.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg and Bart Meijer; Editing by Jon Boyle and Catherine Evans)