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Russian senator: MH17 flight crash probe under international law should be done by Ukraine

July 20, 2015, 19:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian senator Andrey Klishas believes the probe should be done by Ukraine on whose territory the Malaysian passenger airliner was shot down

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MH17 flight debris

MH17 flight debris

© Zurab Javakhadze/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. The investigation, which the Dutch authorities are carrying out into the MH17 flight crash above east Ukraine last year, contradicts international legislation, a senior Russian senator said on Monday.

Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Committee for Constitutional Legislation and State Development at the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, said the probe should be done by Ukraine on whose territory the Malaysian passenger airliner was shot down.

The Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of December 7, 1944 "does not stipulate the right of another state to investigate the circumstances of an accident, except for the state on whose territory the tragedy occurred. In this regard, a question arises: what are the grounds, on which the authorities of The Netherlands are investigating the crash of the Malaysian Boeing airliner?" the senator wrote in his blog on the Federation Council’s official website.

Article 26 of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation reads that "the State, in which the accident occurs, will institute an inquiry into the circumstances of the accident, in accordance, so far as its laws permit, with the procedure which may be recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization," the senator said.

"Let us note that the Ukrainian authorities have not used this right and have not taken any specific steps towards investigating the circumstances of the accident," the senator added.

"Any agreements between the Ukrainian authorities and the authorities of The Netherlands (if such agreements exist), including those relating to the investigation of the circumstances of the Malaysian passenger airliner crash in the Ukrainian air space, contradict the provisions of the 1944 Chicago Convention," the senator said.

"Moreover, even upon the existence of some secret agreement between the Ukrainian and Dutch authorities, the latter do not have the right to investigate the circumstances of the tragedy," he added.

The head of the Federation Council’s Constitutional Committee said that "with the idleness of the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the circumstances of the tragedy, the Malaysian authorities have been deprived of the possibility to appoint their observers to be present during the investigation."

At the same time, Article 26 of the Convention stipulates that "the State in which the aircraft is registered shall be given the opportunity to appoint observers to be present at the inquiry and the State holding the inquiry shall communicate the report and findings in the matter to that State," the senator said.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 passenger airliner on a flight from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the area of hostilities between local militias and Ukrainian governmental troops in east Ukraine’s Donetsk region in July last year. All 298 people aboard the airliner died in the air crash.

Most of the air crash’s victims were Dutch nationals.

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