LONDON – The Dutch & Australian governments have announced they will launch legal action over the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 from eight years ago.
It is understood the lawsuit will take place through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), where compensation and an apology will be sought for the downing of the jet.
Russia, up to now, has denied shooting down the aircraft, which killed 298 people onboard back in 2014.
Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne said that the downing of the aircraft was in breach of Article 84 of the Chicago Convention:
“We have maintained since May 2018 that the Russian Federation is responsible under international law for the downing of flight MH17″.
“Today’s joint action by Australia and the Netherlands is a major step forward in both countries’ fight for truth, justice and accountability for this horrific act of violence.”
“The Russian Federation’s refusal to take responsibility for its role in the downing of flight MH17 is unacceptable and the Australian government has always said that it will not exclude any legal options in our pursuit of justice.”
“Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the escalation of its aggression underscores the need to continue our enduring efforts to hold Russia to account for its blatant violation of international law and the UN charter, including threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and airspace”.
“While we cannot take away the grief of those whose loved ones died as a result of Russia’s actions, the Australian government will pursue every available avenue to ensure Russia is held to account so that this horrific act never happens again.”
At this stage, it is unclear how long these proceedings will take, but with the Ukraine crisis still in full effect at present, it may be a while before we get a clear answer on the outcome of this case.