MH17 next of kin start legal action against Russian Federation at European Court

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95 next of kin representing 70 passengers of flight MH17 started at Friday November 23 a legal case against Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). They say the human rights of the passengers onboard the aircraft were violated by the Russian Federation. In May 2018 the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) made public enough evidence was collected proofing that a BUK TELAR surface to air missile system which belonged to the Russian army was responsible for the downing of MH17.

This is the third application at ECtHR against the Russian Federation by MH17 next of kin.

Dutch lawyer Beer Advocaten stated to Dutch NOS that while domestic legal proceedings  in Russia first have to be exhausted before a legal case can be submitted to ECtHR , there is no confidence that a legal case in Russia will have any effect.

The next step for ECtHR is to decide if the application at ECtHR will be processed or not. This alone can take over a year.

This is not the first application for a legal case at ECtHR related to MH17.

In May 2016 an Australian lawfirm filed an application at ECtHR. This has been registered as ‘‘Ayley and Others v. Russia (no. 25714/16)’. This application was done by  33 applicants who are relatives of victims from Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.

In May 2018 the same lawyer, Jerry Skinner, filed an application at ECtHR against the Russian Federation representing 130 passengers of MH17 including 100 Dutch passengers. A group of 270 next of kin are represented in this application.

It can take 5 to 7 years before ECtHR comes to a verdict. First ECtHR needs to decide if it can accept the application.



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