International Court of Justice does not verdict on MH17 (yet)

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At April 19 2017 International Court of Justice (ICJ) stated  there is no sufficient evidence supporting the claim by Ukraine that Russia supports and finances terrorism. The shotdown of MH17 by separatists was included in the claim as an example of such terrorism.

In March 2017 ICJ held public hearing about the application by Ukraine versus Russia. Read more here.

The decision of the court can be read here.

To explain what ICJ said is a bit hard for a non legal expert as I am. I give it a try.

On 16 January 2017, the Government of Ukraine filed in the Registry of the Court an Application instituting proceedings against the Russian Federation with regard to alleged violations of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism of 9 December 1999 (hereinafter the “ICSFT”) and  International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) of 21 December 1965

An investigation  by ICJ on MH17 is not part of April 19 ICJ decision as Ukraine requested provisional measures.

ICJ finds it has prima facie jurisdiction over Ukraine’s claims versus Russia under both treaties  (ICSFT and CERD) invoked. Prima facie means that ICJ believes at first sight, without having done detailed investigation, that it has jurisdiction.

On the ICSFT (terrorism) claim, ICJ said there is insufficient evidence of Russian intent/knowledge to find Ukraine claims regarding terrorism financing ‘plausible’ at this stage.

The case of ICSFT which the shot down of MH17 is part of will be heard at the later stage. When is unclear to me. Could take some years maybe.

Legal experts believe it will be very hard for Ukraine to prove that Russia had the intent, knowledge, purpose for the shot down of MH17. At the most Russia will be guilty for not cooperating on the investigation. Again the verdict could take years.

On the CERD (discrimination)  claim, ICJ concluded that conditions for provisional measures have been met. ICJ stated Russia must refrain from maintaining or imposing limitations on Tartar community, education and language limitations.

Credits for Kenneth Manusama‏ @KennethManusama who send several Tweets about this.

Ukraine 112 international writes about the ICJ verdict:

International Court of Justice found Ukraine’s evidence that Russia finances terrorism insufficient. This was stated in the interim court decision announced by the judge Abrakham.

Thus, International Court of Justice denied temporary measures against Russia under the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

“The court concluded that conditions necessary to determine additional measures concerning rights violated in Ukraine on the basis of the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism do not meet the requirements,” the judge announced.

Radio Free Europe reports:

Olena Zerkal, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, told reporters outside the court that even though the ruling was mixed, it was still a legal victory for Ukraine because the panel of judges said they think the court, as of this point, has jurisdiction to hear both cases..

“For us, this decision of the court is a positive one,” she said. “We proved our position and we see that we have a very good perspective for the hearings on merits and we are going to actually put forward all our intentions.”

Russian delegates did not immediately comment at the court

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