FOUR men have been charged with the murder of a former Wellington School student and his family five years after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine.

International arrest warrants have been issued for three Russians and a Ukrainian accused of transporting a missile into the area and with murdering 298 passengers and crew. The plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at the time of the atrocity in July 2014.

Among those killed was banker Andrew Hoare, 59, along with his Dutch wife, Estella, and their sons, Jasper, 15, and Friso, 12.

Andrew was a boarder in Avenue and Willows houses at Wellington School, which he attended from 1965 to 1972.

Following Andrew's death, his brother, Hugo, also an Old Wellingtonian, said: "Andrew was born and bred in Somerset and was a greatly loved member of a large family.

"He was a warm, funny and wonderful man whose smile and character lit up a room.

"Estella was beautiful, intelligent, spoke five languages fluently and had a very infectious laugh.

"Jasper had a brilliant young mind and Friso was a talented musician and peacemaker.

"They made frequent visits to both the Netherlands and England to keep in touch with all branches of the family and friends.

"Family was everything to them and they will all be terribly missed."

Shortly before his death Andrew, who was christened in the parish church in Beckington, near Frome, Somerset,where he married Estella in 1998, had returned to Wellington School to show his sons round.

Hugo said Andrew had fond memories of his time at Wellington, adding: "The best way to describe him is loyal.

"He’s one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He was just a lovely, family-orientated man."

Andrew and his family, who lived in Luxembourg, were flying to Malaysia for a holiday at the time of the tragedy.

A Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT) has today (Wednesday) named the suspects in their murder enquiry as Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov from Russia, as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.

Girkin, also known as Strelkov, is a former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service, according to prosecutors. He was given the minister of defence title in the rebel-held eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

Sergei Dubinsky, known as Khmury, was employed by Russia's GRU military intelligence agency, was a deputy of Girkin and was in regular contact with Russia, according to prosecutors

Pulatov, known as Giurza, was a former soldier of GRU special forces and deputy head of the intelligence service in Donetsk.

Kharchenko has no military background but led a combat unit as a commander in Eastern Ukraine.

A court case will be held in The Netherlands next March.