MH17 probe mulling where to prosecute shooting suspects

Investigation team to decide if prosecution be carried out by country of one of those involved or at international level

MH17 probe mulling where to prosecute shooting suspects

World Bulletin / News Desk

Malaysia says a joint investigation team (JIT) is mulling where to prosecute those who brought down a Malaysia Airlines flight over the Ukraine, with both national and international locations being considered.

Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told reporters at parliament Wednesday that Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the Ukraine are currently discussing the two options, following an announcement last month that MH17 was shot at in mid-2014 by a BUK-missile brought from Russia to Ukraine.

The options would see perpetrators prosecuted at a national level by one of the JIT member nations, or an international prosecution tribunal specially set up by members, he said,

"However, between the two options, the decision will depend on the findings of the criminal investigation [into the air crash]," Kaprawi added.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound flight from Amsterdam was shot down in the troubled state of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew on-board.

Some 193 casualties were from the Netherlands, while 43 Malaysians and 27 Australians were also killed.

All parties potentially involved -- Russia, Ukraine and a pro-Russian rebel group -- have denied involvement, although international investigators have narrowed down suspicions due to ownership of the BUK.  

Kaprawi said Wednesday that so far only the Dutch government was pushing for prosecution at the national level, as of major influence was the place of residence and nationality of the suspected perpetrators and those on board.

"Whatever the prosecution and trial options determined later, the ability to commence prosecution against any perpetrator is subject to having sufficient evidence and acceptable to the court."

Kaprawi added that an interim report issued by the JIT on Sept. 28, 2016 had not identified the exact party responsible.

“Currently, the JIT investigation to determine the perpetrators of the crime is on-going and any action to be taken will only be decided after the investigation on the plane crash is completed, and after obtaining strong evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice," he said.

Interim JIT findings, however, have confirmed an earlier technical report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) that the aircraft was undeniably hit by a surface-to-air BUK.

JIT's report also revealed the launch site was in an agricultural field near Pervomaiskiy -- a city in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which was under the control of pro-Russian rebels two years ago.


Last Mod: 26 Ekim 2016, 15:32
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