#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 6°C Monday 19 April 2021

Families of victims of shot-down airliner MH17 to sue Vladimir Putin for €21 million

Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July 2014.

Ukraine Plane Jerzy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski, whose daughter, 25-year-old daughter Fatima was a passenger on flight MH17, sit on part of the wreckage of the crashed aircraft on 26 July 2014 Source: AP/Press Association Images

THE FAMILIES OF 33 victims of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 disaster are to sue Russian premier Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation to the tune of 10 million Australian dollars each (about €21 million in total).

The suits have been filed by Sydney-based law firm LHD Lawyers at the European Court of Human Rights according to the Sydney Morning Herald, and lay blame for the accident firmly on the Russians.

MH17 was a commercial flight between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur shot down over Ukraine on 17 July 2014.

The Russian Federation has always claimed that the missile that brought the plane down was fired by Ukrainian forces, with the Ukrainian government insisting that the attack was co-ordinated by the Russians.

The official report into the disaster was compiled by the Dutch Safety Board. It concluded that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. However the Board’s remit did not include assigning responsibility for the act.

298 people lost their lives in the incident.

The proposed respondents to the claim are Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation.

The documents filed claim that Russia has worked to keep its involvement in the disaster hidden.

“My clients want accountability for the deed,” Jerry Skinner, the associate with LHD whose signature is on the suit, told Fairfax Media in Australia.

They want enough money to reflect that the Russians take this seriously and serve as a deterrent.
I have encouraged the Russians to contact me to discuss how much money that is… but I have heard nothing from Russia, from their embassy or from the contact points that we established to indicate that they are willing to talk about negotiating.

MH17 was the second enormous aviation disaster to afflict Malaysian Airlines in the space of four months in 2014, and occurred at the height of the pro-Russian unrest occurring in Ukraine at that time.

In March of that year MH370, an airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur and carrying 239 people, was lost without trace over the southern Indian Ocean.

Read: Bernie Sanders is running out of cash as Trump puts more money into his campaign

Read: US governor blocks law which would have seen doctors jailed for performing abortions

Read next: