MH17: Netherlands, Australia press case against Russia for damages
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will hear the case of the Netherlands and Australia against Russia for the downing of flight MH17, according to Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs on Twitter. "Encouraging news for the loved ones of the victims."
The civil aviation organization rejected Russias objections, Hoekstra tweeted. "This is an important step towards establishing the truth, justice and accountability. Together with Australia, we will continue to do everything in our power to find closure for the loved ones of the 298 victims of the flight."
In mid-November, three suspects in the MH17 trial were convicted in absentie and sentenced to life imprisonment for their involvement in shooting down the flight on July 17, 2014, over eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch citizens, were killed.
A year ago, the Netherlands and Australia approached the civil aviation organization, ICAO, to demand compensation from Russia for the MH17 disaster. "After Russia terminated negotiations with the Netherlands and Australia in 2020, we brought the case to the ICAO. Russia believed that the ICAO had no authority in this matter, but they have now been proven wrong," tweeted Minister Mark Harbers of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Harbers also called it good news that the ICAO is taking up the case. "The Netherlands and Australia will continue to strive for truth, justice, and accountability, and to help the next of kin cope with this enormous loss."
Earlier this year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia must be held accountable for its role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Not only to the Netherlands but also to the relatives of the victims.
Reporting by ANP