Crime & Justice

Dutch government files lawsuit against Russia for ‘role’ in MH17 downing

The Hague, Jul 10 (efe-epa).- The Dutch government on Friday said it would bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for its “role” in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014.

An ongoing trial in the Netherlands has accused three Russians and a Ukrainian in abstentia of the murder of the 298 people onboard the flight, which Dutch-led international investigators said was brought down by a Russian Buk missile that had been brought over the border to eastern Ukraine.

The area of Ukraine has since 2014 been in the hands of pro-Russian rebels.

Around two-thirds of those onboard flight MH17, which was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, were Dutch.

Russia has denied any involvement in the incident.

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said: “Achieving justice for 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 is and will remain the government’s highest priority.

“By taking this step today — bringing a case before the ECHR and thus supporting the applications of the next of kin as much as we can — we are moving closer to this goal.”

A government statement added: “What is more, by submitting this inter-State application, the Netherlands stands by all 298 MH17 victims, of 17 different nationalities, and their next of kin.

“The pursuit of truth, justice and accountability remains the top priority for the Dutch government. The government has always said that it would not rule out any legal remedy to achieve this goal. This latest course of action brings us one step closer.”

The government said it wanted to continue talks with Russia on the MH17 incident.

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