The names of those who “played an active role” in the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash will be announced by no later than the beginning of 2017. This statement was made by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in an interview with the country’s ABC media company, which was published on the 2nd of October.
Bishop stated that the investigation revealed the identities of approximately 100 people who were actively involved in the transportation of Buk air defense systems from Russia to the Donbas.
“I expect that by the end of the year, or probably early next year, a list of those who we feel must be held accountable will be confirmed. Those people should then be prosecuted,” Bishop said.
She also stressed that at this stage, Australia and other countries involved in the investigation are urging Russia to cooperate, “to make sure that the international investigation team is provided with every possible means support to ensure that those responsible are held accountable”.
Should Russia use its veto right in the UN Security Council to block an attempt to create an international tribunal, Bishop sees several options to counter this, including the establishment of a “Lockerbie-style” tribunal, which can be created without the approval of the UN Security Council.
“A Lockerbie-style trial can be arranged. This is a tribunal that is established by the international community,” Bishop explained. According to her, “it may be easier” to form such a tribunal in the Netherlands. However, the parties involved must ensure that “the tribunal will be given all of the necessary powers”. This includes the authority to extradite, which will be necessary to “bring all of those responsible for this crime to justice,” she concluded.
The results of the investigation of the crash in eastern Ukraine were announced on the 28th of September. An international investigation team concluded that the aircraft was shot down from territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists, with a surface-to-air missile which was fired from the Buk air defense system. This system was delivered to the Donbas from Russia.
Flight MH17 crashed on the 17th of July 2014. All 298 passengers, of which 28 were Australian, were killed.