Selangor Journal
Lawyers attend the judges’ inspection of the reconstruction of the MH17 wreckage, as part of the murder trial ahead of the beginning of a critical stage, in Reijen, Netherlands, on May 26, 2021. — Picture by REUTERS

European Court of Human Rights to hear case against Russia on MH17

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday ruled that it will hear the cases against Russia over alleged human rights violations in eastern regions of Ukraine, and the downing of flight MH17.

According to a statement by the court’s registrar, ECHR on Wednesday declared the cases brought by Ukraine and the Netherlands were partially admissible.

The Dutch government has complained about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, which resulted in the deaths of 298 people, including 196 Dutch nationals, the court said.

The Ukrainian government has complained about alleged human rights violations by separatists in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and by members of the Russian military.

“It held that there was sufficient evidence to satisfy the burden of proof at the admissibility stage of administrative practices in violation of a number of Articles of the Convention and it declared the majority of the complaints by the Government of Ukraine admissible. 

“Likewise, the evidential threshold for the purposes of admissibility had been met in respect of the complaints of the government of the Netherlands concerning the downing of MH17 which were therefore also declared admissible,” the statement read.

Among other things, the court found that areas in eastern Ukraine in separatist hands were, from May 11, 2014 and up to at least January 26, 2022, under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, it said.

It referred to the presence of Russian military personnel in eastern Ukraine from April 2014 and the large-scale deployment of Russian troops from August 2014 at the latest. 

“It further found that the respondent state had a significant influence on the separatists’ military strategy; that it had provided weapons and other military equipment to separatists on a significant scale from the earliest days of the “DPR” and the “LPR” and over the following months and years; that it had carried out artillery attacks upon requests from the separatists; and that it had provided political and economic support to the separatists,” said the statement.

Pro-Russian separatists have been fighting to establish the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) in east Ukraine. MH17 was shot down by a Russian made Buk missile while flying over the conflict region on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. 

— Bernama

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