UK backs demand for justice tribunal
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.