Australia and the Netherlands take legal action against Russia over the downing of MH17

Australia and the Netherlands said on Monday they had launched joint legal proceedings against Russia at the International Civil Aviation Organization over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 eight years ago.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement that Russia was responsible under international law for the downing of the flight, and the action at the United Nations Aviation Board was a step forward in the fight for justice for the 298 victims, including 38 Australia. According to the statement issued on Monday.

Australia stated that the incident was a clear violation of an agreement to protect civil aircraft from gunfire, while the Dutch government indicated in a statement that the UN Security Council had been informed of this step.

Dutch Foreign Minister Wubke Hoekstra said in the statement that "the deaths of 298 civilians, including 196 Dutch, cannot and should not continue without consequences. The current events in Ukraine underline the importance of this."

Australia said it was seeking full compensation from Russia for the fatalities and suspending the Russian vote on the Aviation Board, which sets standards for civil air travel.

Despite having no regulatory authority, the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization is at the heart of a system of safety and security standards that operates across political barriers but requires often slow consensus.

"Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and its escalation of aggression underscore the need to continue our ongoing efforts to hold Russia accountable for its flagrant violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, including threats to Ukraine's sovereignty and airspace," Morrison said. Payne said in the statement.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was flying on July 17, 2014 over separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine, where it was hit by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile launched from a Russian military base run by Moscow-backed rebels, according to the report. International Investigation Team.

Moscow has long denied involvement and promoted a range of alternative theories, which international investigators have dismissed as unsubstantiated.

The Australian-Dutch joint procedure under Article 84 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation is separate from the Dutch trial of four suspects of individual criminal responsibility in the incident for murder.

Last December, Dutch prosecutors requested life sentences for the four men who were tried in the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash over eastern Ukraine, after they were accused of killing the 298 people on board. read more

The four, who are Sergey Dubinsky, Igor Girkin and Oleg Bulatov, all of whom have Russian citizenship, in addition to Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, are classified among the senior pro-Russian separatist officials in eastern Ukraine and are accused of shooting down the MH17 plane with a surface-to-air missile. 

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