Dutch newspaper: States may be liable for MH17

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This is a Google translated text of an article which was published online on the website of the Netherlands largest newspaper Telegraaf at October 29.

THE HAGUE – Russia and Ukraine may also be possible as states to be held responsible for the downing of MH17. The Cabinet does not exclude any option, but gives priority to identifying and bringing to justice the individual perpetrators of mass murder.

 Legal scholars point out that danger as the danger of tunnel vision.Other legal options should be examined and followed exhaustively according to them.

explosive issue

According to MP Omtzigt (CDA) is responsibility of the state a very delicate and explosive issue. “The government has committed itself in any case the decision of Minister Koenders that nothing is negotiated away. If Ukraine in the future is willing to  transfer  jurisdiction for trial of the perpetrators to the Netherlands, it does not mean that Ukraine will not escape punishment for  keeping the airspace open. “

The Ukrainian secret service had, according to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) a day befor the MH17-attack knowledge of the Buk-transfer from Russia to the region in eastern Ukraine, which was controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Also on July 14 diplomats took note of the dangerous situation, the escalation of fighting. Yet the airspace over the war zone remained open to civil aviation.

According to the Amsterdam lecturer in international law Marieke de Hoon of the Vrije University in the Netherlands this is enough reason to start a court case at the European Court for the Protection of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

“Do not be childish ‘

“The Hague should  not be childish in his. Large and heavy words are not needed, because Ukraine was not responsible for the massacre.However, the court has to rule on whether the land was negligent. “

That is the obligation of the Netherlands, according to De Hoon,   to the families of the victims. “It is a disaster of enormous magnitude. Moreover, the world community will soon benefit when sharp and clear has been established how states should monitor the safety of their airspace. “

On July 17, 2014, the day of the fatal disaster, there were, according to Eurocontrol besides MH17 another 160 civilian flights over eastern Ukraine. In the days before for 61 airlines from 32 countries unsuspecting use of hazardous airspace. Passenger aircraft would not be a target, was the starting point.

The threat is seriously underestimated by anyone, is the conclusion of the Dutch Safety Board. “Ukraine had to close the airspace completely instead of just under 10 km. It was known that the armed conflict was going on there. “

“Ukraine failed ‘

For the survivors, the issue is a hot potato. “Ukraine failed to keep open the airspace in a war zone. There was only a height restriction.It should have been shut tight after dozens of military aircraft were shot down, “said chairman Evert van Zijtveld of ‘Foundation Vliegramp MH17’.

The relatives of the killed passengers may want Russia to be called to account as evidence that the Russian authorities were actively involved in the transfer of the Buk missile system from Russia to Eastern Ukraine.

The Dutch prosecution service wants ‘ neither confirm nor deny “to the next of kin that among the hundreds of people involved in the JIT as those involved in the picture, are also Russian soldiers, Thomas Schansman acting on behalf of a group of survivors. “We have requested a meeting with Prime Minister Rutte. The bottom of it, as he promised himself. “

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2 Comments on Dutch newspaper: States may be liable for MH17

  1. Ukrainian secret service (sbu.gov.ua) has equipment which recorded all cellphone talks in the war zone. JIT wrote “approximately 150.000 intercepted telephone calls were listened in on”. It was impossible to listen in real time. Several days were needed to fish out some interesting conversations. So, staff of Ukrainian secret service didn’t know of the Buk before July 17.

  2. ICYMI Ukraine’s proposals to various aviation regulation organizations.

    https://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/uploads/phase-docs/1006/6a8f27dc5a5freactie-oekrai-ne-inzake-mh17-25-jan-2016.pdf

    DSB Summary

    https://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/en/onderzoek/2049/investigation-crash-mh17-17-july-2014/publicatie/1658/dutch-safety-board-buk-surface-to-air-missile-system-caused-mh17-crash#fasen

    Of note :
    — ‘None of the parties involved recognised the risk posed to overflying civil aircraft by the armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine’

    — ‘it is rare for a state to close its airspace because of an armed conflict.’

    — ‘According to statements by the Ukrainian authorities, in two cases long-range weapons were used. In the Dutch Safety Board’s opinion, Ukraine had sufficient reason to close the entire airspace over the eastern part of Ukraine as a precaution. Instead, on military grounds flying at lower altitudes was restricted.’

    Strange conclusion, elsewhere in the report they say – these were not long range weapon attacks, more intermediate range.
    Two assessments that DSB and MVID claim Ukraine was wrong about.

    So the main reason DSB gives that Ukraine SHOULD have closed its airspace is because they made statements that MILITARY, not civilian, targets were attacked.

    NOT because Ukraine knew a BUK was present.
    I REPEAT
    DSB conclusion was NOT because a BUK was present
    DSB conclusion WAS because Ukraine made public statements they thought two of their military aircraft were targeted at ~8km or below.

    Ukraine raised FL to 10km, out of range of MOST SAM equipment that were present.
    Ukraine could do nothing about a neighbor state that fires into their territory or brings in a SAM vehicle covertly.

    Did Civilian targets ever get attacked?
    DSB did not mention that.
    Was there a direct threat to civilian civilian aircraft (terrorism)?
    DSB didn’t address that.

    Ukraine saw a potential accidental downing possibility and raised FL because of that.
    They felt that was warranted and correct procedure.

    DSB felt Ukraine’s risk assessment was wrong.

    To me, DSB is incorrect in their assessment.
    I think Ukraine was following a set of procedure’s they thought was appropriate and follow the laws.
    You admin, I know believe otherwise.

    BUT in the name of being unbiased, you should present this side of the issue.
    And you should also make sure you present the CORRECT conclusion of why DSB said airspace should be closed.

    I do not think a lawsuit or criminal charges against Ukraine will be successful at all.
    And I am sure most attorney’s who know ALL the facts will agree.

    It is not that I do not want to defend Ukraine, it is not that I do not want victim’s families to get their day in court and see some justice.

    I state these things because those are reality.

    By all means, the victim’s families should have their day in court.
    IF NL or other prosecutor’s feel a law was broken, those cases should be brought.

    I see a big uphill battle for both.
    Judges will have to decide.

    You do know all the facts and I can understand your emotion on the issue.
    Courts do not deal with emotions, they deal with facts and laws on the books at the time of the incident.

    Fact is, there was according to DSB (I repeat) – ‘None of the parties involved recognised the risk posed to overflying civil aircraft by the armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine’ – because there was no recognized risk and Ukraine acted as was their right to do.

    Fare thee well

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