5 countries to sign MH17 document in New York


Foreign ministers of the countries whose investigative authorities together make up the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) — Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands — will sign a document in the case of Boeing 777 flight MH17 in New York next week.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Malaysia Olexander Nechytaylo said the document, which defines detailed steps and actions for all participating countries, will be held on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

“The countries remain fully committed to taking effective measures and to investigate. Ukraine with the JIT team are still working very closely and this document will specify in depth, which is one of the many channels that we’re working on currently,” Nechytaylo told Bernama in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 on board.

International investigators said the flight was shot down by a Russia-supplied missile system that was fired from territory held by Russia-backed fighters.

The probe was focusing on some 100 people suspected of having played an “active role” in the incident, but the investigators have not publicly named any suspects to date.

Elaborating further on the document, Nechytaylo said it follows another Ukraine’s effort in bringing the perpetrators to justice in which a lawsuit against Russia was filed early this year.

In the case filed on Jan 16 that included the downing of MH17 as part of the proceedings instituted by Ukraine in the International Court of Justice, he added that it was to hold Russia accountable for acts of terrorism and discrimination in the course of unlawful aggression against Ukraine.

“This indeed is a long, ongoing process and definitely will take time. The challenges we’re facing now are that we have to collect hard evidence that will be admissible to present in the court.

“To get the convictions is not easy, what more given the territory where the most debris discovered is not under Ukrainian government control,” said Nechytaylo, who is concurrently the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Philippines.

He also said Ukraine and the Netherlands will soon sign a memorandum on the exchange of information on the crash, which would further help his country in its lawsuit against Russia.