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MH17: International Tribunal, Avenue To Prosecute Perpetrators

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KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia should choose an international tribunal as the next course of action to prosecute those responsible for shooting down their MH17 aircraft.

Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) test pilot Prof Dr Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian said that option offers an optimum avenue to showcase the prosecution to the international community in contrast to national prosecution.

“It would be optimum if the prosecution be done using international tribunal since it would give more credence as it would be formed by numerous consensus by many different countries (in the Joint Investigation Team).

“Also technical observations and conclusions from these countries are more weighted as it took into account expert opinions from different countries,” he told Bernama.

Earlier reports said Malaysia will wait for the findings by international investigators on the downing of Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH17 before deciding on the next course of action.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the government would not act alone in finding justice for the victims of the MH17 and once the international investigators had identified the culprits, Malaysia has the option to either proceed with “national prosecution” or choose an international tribunal.

So far, the international investigators have yet to ascertain who is responsible for shooting down the aircraft.

Harridon pointed out that the national prosecution is based on the local laws without a clear consensus from the international community while an international tribunal is based upon consensus from several countries.

Echoing the same view, founder of Malaysian aviation consultancy Endau Analytics, Shukor Yusof also believed that the international tribunal would be a good platform to pressure those responsible in the tragic incident.

“The tragedy involved a lot of nationalities and it happened in Europe, in the international airspace and not in the Asia region. It will be a good medium to show the world who is really responsible based on the evidence collected.

“From the international tribunal, families and next-of-kin will find a closure that they have been searching since the ill-fated airplane went down two years ago,” he said.

MH17 was shot down while flying at 30,000 feet over the volatile area of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including 44 Malaysians.

On Sept 28, the group of international investigators led by the Dutch concluded that the aircraft was shot at by a Buk missile brought from Russia to Ukraine.

Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Dutch national detective force, had said that the Buk missile was taken back to Russia after MH17 was shot down, killing all the passengers and crew on board. – BERNAMA

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