Ukraine ratifies deal with the Netherlands on joint probe of MH17 crash
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ukraine's parliament, has passed the bill, submitted by the president, on the ratification of the agreement with the Kingdom of the Netherlands on international legal cooperation in relation to crimes connected with the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 (No. 0194).
The relevant decision was backed by 241 MPs out of 357 registered in the session hall, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
The law provides for ratifying with two applications the agreement concluded in Tallinn on July 7, 2017, which comes into force on the day of receiving through diplomatic channels the last written notification on completion by the parties of their domestic procedures necessary for the entry into force of this agreement.
The law comes into force on the same day with the enforcement of Law of Ukraine "On the implementation of the Agreement between Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on international legal cooperation in relation to crimes connected with the shooting down of MH17 flight of Malaysian Airlines on July 17, 2014."
The agreement should resolve the issue of prosecution and conviction in the Netherlands of persons involved in the shooting down of the aircraft.
UNIAN memo. Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over militant-occupied territory in Donetsk region. All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Safety Board October 13, 2015, issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system. The Joint Investigation Team in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia.
No suspects have been named, though Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said his office had identified 100 "persons of interest" in the investigation, including those who organized the arrival of the rocket and oversaw its transportation from Russia to Ukraine and back.
The Criminal Investigation into the tragedy is being carried out by the Joint Investigative Team (JIT), which includes representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The countries participating in the investigation of the MH17 crash agreed not to create a separate tribunal and decided that the perpetrators would be brought before the Dutch court.
On July 7, 2017, Ukraine and the Netherlands signed an agreement on the establishment of legal grounds for the consideration of the said case.
On May 25, Australia and the Netherlands formally accused Russia of being responsible for downing a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in 2014.