Crime & Justice

ECHR to hear Dutch, Ukrainian cases against Russia over MH17 downing

Paris, Jan 25 (EFE).- The European Court of Human Rights said Wednesday it would hear cases brought by the Netherlands and Ukraine against Russia over the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

All 298 people on board the flight were killed when it was hit by a Russian Buk surface-to-air fired from rebel-held territory as it flew over eastern Ukraine on July 27, 2014 en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

The Ukrainian government accused Russian-backed separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) as well as the Russian armed forces of a “pattern” of human rights violations, while the Dutch government made allegations against Russia, the LPR and DPR in relation to the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight.

The court said it found that “areas in eastern Ukraine in separatist hands were, from 11 May 2014 and up to at least 26 January 2022, under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation,” pointing out that Moscow had “a significant influence” over the separatists’ military strategy, provided “a significant” amount of weapons and other military equipment, as well as political and economic support, and had even carried out artillery attacks at the request of the DPR and LPR.

The court said that “there was sufficient evidence” to find the complaints by Ukraine and the Netherlands “admissible.”

Russia has denied the allegations.

Moscow withdrew from the European Convention on Human Rights in September, but the ECHR can still rule on cases against Russia up to the date that it had pulled out of the convention.

A special Dutch court in November found two Russians and a Ukrainian guilty of murder in absentia for their roles in the shooting of the plane. The three defendants – currently believed to be in Russia – were given life sentences. EFE


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