The Netherlands prepares to initiate a new trial over the downing of Flight MH17, this time through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

As the RTL TV channel reports, the Netherlands intends to prove that the Russian Federation violated the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation, which stipulates that every state must refrain from using weapons against civilian aircraft and the lives of people on board must not be endangered.

It is noted that the Netherlands has been trying to make Russia accept its responsibility in the downing of the passenger Flight MH17 for several years. Various next steps were considered, including the ICAO procedure.

“If ICAO finds Russia guilty, it will increase pressure on Moscow to accept responsibility or may be the basis for another lawsuit,” RTL states.

According to media reports, the final decision must be made by the new Cabinet of Ministers which has not yet been formed. It is also possible that Australia will join the process, which together with the Netherlands participated in negotiations with Russia on the recognition of responsibility for the downing of MH17.

As a reminder, in March 2020, District Court of The Hague began consideration of the case over the downing of Flight MH17 in the temporarily occupied part of the Donetsk region on 17 July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board; all of them died.

The Joint Investigation Team concluded that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

On 19 June 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system. The suspects are: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former Russian FSB officer and former so-called defence minister of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic;” Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called “Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People’s Republic;” Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces; and Ukrainian civilian Leonid Kharchenko, who fought on the side of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic.

Bohdan Marusyak

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