Australia expects downed MH17 prosecution soon

Government MP advocates international tribunal to bring MH17 perpetrators to justice

Australia expects downed MH17 prosecution soon

World Bulletin / News Desk

Australia’s foreign affairs minister has suggested that by the end of 2016 those responsible for the July 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster in eastern Ukraine will be identified.

Then “there must be a prosecution”, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop told the ABC on Sunday.

Bishop maintained that a tribunal set up by the international community or “domestic prosecutions in, say, the Netherlands” should be considered.

“As long as they had the powers of extradition and the like, a prosecution could be mounted successfully in a domestic jurisdiction, but that would cover the interests of the 298 victims aboard that flight,” Bishop said.

Her comments came in the wake of an international interim report -- compiled by an independent joint investigation team made up of investigators from Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine, Belgium and the Netherlands -- revealed that a BUK missile originating from territory belonging to pro-Russian rebels downed the MH17 passenger plane.

The Boeing 777 broke apart mid-air while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board, including 38 Australians, were killed.

Russia has rejected all suggestions its military was involved in the incident and has indicated it would use its veto powers to prevent the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from investigating the circumstances behind the crash.

Bishop said Sunday that while she would not rule out attempting to launch a fresh investigation in the UNSC, a number of alternative options were available.

“The next step is to identify those responsible, the chain of command within the Russian military and all those who were involved in making the decision and actually operating that missile. That is under way and I expect that by the end of the year, maybe early next year, the list of those that we believe should be held accountable,” Bishop told the ABC.

Opposition Labor has vowed bipartisan support to the government in pursuing all options to make sure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the starting point for justice should be looking to the world community, via the UN, to act.

"But if Russia moves to prevent that, we should not allow that to prevent further action and every avenue, every prospect of a tribunal should be explored," she told reporters in Adelaide.

Bishop referred to Russia's theories about how the plane came to be shot as "improbable, implausible".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Ekim 2016, 14:55
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