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Netherlands refuses to disclose what experts discuss at meetings on MH17 crash

August 11, 2015, 18:34 UTC+3 THE HAGUE
The final report is due to be published in October
1 pages in this article
© TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

THE HAGUE, August 11 /TASS/. International experts who investigate the causes of the MH17 crash that occurred over Ukraine in July last year are meeting behind the closed doors these days.

Dutch Safety Board spokesperson Sarah Vernooj told TASS on Tuesday she had no right to disclose what was being discussed at the expert meetings.

We cannot disclose any details about the final report, which is due to be published in October, either, Vernooj added.

A meeting of international experts organized in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules started in the Netherlands on Monday. The consultations will continue for several days. The experts will discuss progress made in the investigation. They will also visit a Gilze-Rijen military base to see parts of the Boeing 777 reconstructed from the plane’s fragments collected at the crash site.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said that Moscow wants to bring the investigation to the end in strict compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2166: its provisions are not being implemented in full measure.

"After the investigation is over, it is necessary to make the punishment of the guilty inevitable," Lavrov stressed.

We are ready to discuss possible mechanisms for bringing the persons responsible for the MH17 crash to justice by using practices that used to be applied previously in such cases," Lavrov said.

Russia has vetoed the United Nations Security Council resolution on establishing an international tribunal to prosecute persons guilty of the MH17 plane crash over Ukraine that occurred on July 17, 2014.

Eleven Security Council members voted for the Malaysia-proposed draft, which, in fact, was enough for its adoption but Russia used its right of veto.

Another three countries, including Angola, Venezuela and China, abstained from voting.

The two-page Malaysia-proposed draft resolution classifies the incident as a threat to international peace and security and provides for the creation of a tribunal under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in pursuit of a single goal - to prosecute persons responsible for the crimes linked to the destruction of the Malaysia Airlines plane (flight MH17). The statute (charter) of the proposed tribunal, which supplements the draft resolution, demands that all countries should cooperate with the future legal body in full measure.

Russian Ambassador to United Nations Vitaly Churkin believes that it is wrong to classify the air crash as a threat to international peace and security and create a tribunal proceeding from Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter.

"Never before international tribunals were established to investigate civilian plane crashes under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. No tribunal was set up to investigate the crash of a Russian airliner shot down by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile in 2001 or a US-destroyed Iranian plane," Churkin said in one of his interviews.

Russia submitted an alternative draft resolution to the UN Security Council designed to support an independent international investigation into the MH17 air crash. The Russia-proposed document suggests appointing a special representative of the United Nations secretary-general to supervise the tragedy’s investigation. The text says nothing about the need to set up an international tribunal. Instead, it demands that persons guilty of the air crash be brought to justice and that all states continue cooperation in this direction after the international investigation is over.

On 17 July 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard. Most passengers - 193 people - were Dutch nationals. Investigators believe the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

The Dutch Safety Board is conducting the investigation.

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