The European Court of Human Rights is about to announce whether it will hear a case brought by the Netherlands against Russia for the shooting down of flight MH17 in 2014.
When a missile developed in Russia and fired by separatists in Ukraine with support from Russia brought down a Malaysia Airlines aircraft, all 298 passengers and crew members on board were dead.
The Dutch government asserts that the Russian government’s dissemination of false information on Moscow’s part in the tragedy violates the human rights of the victims’ family.
Russia strongly refutes the charges.
The decision will be communicated verbally at 14:30 local time (13:30 GMT).
The Boeing 777 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia when it was struck by a surface-to-air missile in July 2014 during a battle in the Donbas region of Ukraine between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces. The conflict was taking place in Ukraine.
The Netherlands contends that Russia played a significant part in the tragic incident that occurred in the air, and the crux of the matter is determining whether or not Moscow exercised “effective control” over the region in Ukraine from which the missile was launched.
At this point, the only thing the ECHR will decide is whether or not the requirements have been completed for it to proceed with this application.
Even if the court decides to consider the Dutch case, it may be years before a decision is made. On the other hand, in the event that the ECHR finds Russia guilty of violating human rights, Moscow may be required to compensate the kin of the victims.
In September of this past year, Russia withdrew from the European Convention on Human Rights; nevertheless, the court is still able to hear cases involving Russia that are related to events that occurred before that date.
In November, a Dutch court at the Schiphol Judicial Complex found three individuals, two from Russia and one from Ukraine, guilty of murder in absentia for their roles in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
The judge and the jury came to the conclusion that the missile had been shot on purpose in order to bring down a plane, even if the target had been a military aircraft rather than a civilian one.
The three guys were each given a sentence of life in prison, however it is believed that all three of them are currently in Russia.
As a result of Moscow’s condemnation of the verdict, which it deemed to be scandalous and politically driven, it is exceedingly doubtful that they will be handed over to face justice.
Russia has categorically rejected any responsibility for the attack on multiple occasions.