Netherlands to Bring Russia Before Human Rights Court Over MH17 Downing

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

The Dutch government has decided to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) "for its role in the downing of Flight MH17" six years ago.

"By submitting an inter-State application, the government is sharing all available and relevant information about the downing of Flight MH17 with the ECHR," Xinhua news agency quoted the government as saying on Friday.

"The contents of the inter-State application will also be incorporated into the Netherlands' intervention in the individual applications submitted by the victims' next of kin against Russia to the ECHR.

Downed MH17 plane, Ukraine
Donetsk (Ukraine) : Workers work on the site where the MH17 plane of Malaysia Airlines crashed, on the outskirts of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Nov. 18, 2014. The recovery of the wreckage of flight MH17 will be completed in around five days, the Dutch Safety Board, leading the investigation into the crash in eastern Ukraine, announced on Monday Xinhua/Alexander Ermochenko/IANS

"By taking this course of action the government is offering maximum support to these individual cases," it added.

Justice, Highest Priority

In a statement, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok: "Achieving justice for 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 is and will remain the government's highest priority.

"By taking this step today -- bringing a case before the ECHR and thus supporting the applications of the next of kin as much as we can -- we are moving closer to this goal."

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

All 298 people on board died, including 196 Dutch citizens.

A report published by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which comprises representatives from the governments of the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Belgium and Ukraine, in September 2016 alleged that the plane was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile fired from a region in eastern Ukraine controlled by independence-seeking insurgents.

Russia has denied any involvement.