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Coveney calls on Russia to take accountability for downing of Malaysian Airlines flight

The Netherlands and Australia have taken the first step towards dragging Russia to court over the shooting down of flight MH17.

Image: Leah Farrell

TÁNAISTE AND MINISTER for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has called on the Russian Federation to cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability for the deaths of the 298 passengers and crew of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.

Coveney’s statement follows the findings of the Joint Investigation Team which concluded that the Russian-made BUK missile which tore apart the Boeing 777 passenger plane in mid-air came from a Russian military brigade based in southwestern Kursk.

All 298 people on the flight en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed when the missile slammed into the plane as it flew over territory held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

“On 24 May 2018, the Joint Investigation Team examining the downing of the flight presented additional findings. It concluded that the BUK missile system used to bring down the Malaysian Airlines aircraft belonged beyond doubt to the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

“Ireland is fully convinced of the independence, professionalism and impartiality of the Joint Investigation Team. We join the call on the Russian Federation, made on Friday by the European Union, to accept its responsibility and to cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. The families of those bereaved in this terrible incident deserve no less,” Coveney said.

‘Discrediting Russia’

In a statement on the Malaysian Boeing investigation, Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yuriy Filatov said that the accusations were aimed at discrediting Russia in the eyes of the international community.

No evidence, of course, was presented, except for a visually striking video based on data fabricated by Bellingcat bloggers, who were previously found to be distorting facts to support the hypothesis of Russia’s involvement in the crash of the airliner.

Filatov was also critical about the bias and one-sidedness of the ongoing investigation, saying that Russia has legitimate questions about the true underlying motives of the Joint Investigation Committee’s decision to disclose the preliminary conclusion.

”We note that the materials shown at the press conference ignore a significant amount of information provided by Russia to the JIG. Nothing was said about the assistance we provided during the investigation.

”The people behind the presentation forgot to mention that we hosted Dutch experts and investigators of the Dutch Prosecutor’s Office in Moscow, and handed over technical and design data of the Buk missiles to the investigators, and provided the results of a full-scale experiment carried out by Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of this type of anti-aircraft missile systems,” Filatov said.

Malaysia Airlines Ukraine crash A body recovered from the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 is carried onto a dutch aircraft during a ramp ceremony at Kharkiv Aiport, Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 23 2014 Source: AAP/PA Images

Dragging Russia to court

The Netherlands and Australia have taken the first step towards dragging Russia to court over the shooting down of flight MH17, accusing Moscow of being responsible for the disaster over war-torn eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The Dutch government said in a statement that, together with Australia, it was holding Moscow “formally accountable” for the tragedy, and may now move towards submitting the complex dossier to an international judge or organisation.

Additional reporting from AFP

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