UK backs de­mand for jus­tice tri­bunal

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

BRI­TAIN has joined a cho­rus of coun­tries call­ing for a UN­backed tri­bunal to pros­e­cute those re­spon­si­ble for down­ing flight MH17, as rel­a­tives re­mem­bered their dead in cer­e­monies on the first an­niver­sary of the dis­as­ter.

All 298 pas­sen­gers and crew – the ma­jor­ity Dutch – died on July 17 last year when the Malaysia Air­lines Boe­ing 777, on a flight be­tween Am­s­ter­dam and Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over rebel- held east Ukraine dur­ing heavy fight­ing be­tween Ukrainian forces and pro- Rus­sian sep­a­ratists.

Kiev and the West point the fin­ger at the sep­a­ratists, say­ing they may have used a BUK sur­face- to- air mis­sile supplied by Rus­sia to down the plane. But Moscow de­nies in­volve­ment and in­stead ac­cuses Ukraine’s mil­i­tary.

“Jus­tice must be de­liv­ered for the 298 in­no­cent peo­ple who lost their lives,” Bri­tish For­eign Sec­re­tary Philip Ham­mond said in a state­ment.

“That re­quires an in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal, backed by a res­o­lu­tion bind­ing all UN mem­ber states, to pros­e­cute those re­spon­si­ble.”

Flags flew at half- mast in the Nether­lands as about 2000 rel­a­tives and friends gath­ered to mourn the vic­tims, while a na­tional me­mo­rial cer­e­mony was held in Can­berra.

Malaysian rel­a­tives also took part in an emo­tional me­mo­rial ser­vice in Kuala Lumpur last week, de­mand­ing jus­tice and an­swers about who is re­spon­si­ble for the dis­as­ter.

As rel­a­tives strug­gle to come to terms with their grief, the fo­cus is shift­ing to track­ing down the per­pe­tra­tors and putting them on trial.

The Nether­lands has been tasked with lead­ing the retrieval of vic­tims’ re­mains and in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the crash, as well as find­ing and pun­ish­ing pos­si­ble per­pe­tra­tors.

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