12:30 23.11.2016

MH17 investigation group insisting ICC review case of passenger airliner downing – Lutsenko

2 min read
MH17 investigation group insisting ICC review case of passenger airliner downing – Lutsenko

The international investigation group probing the downing of the Boeing passenger airline MH17 in Donbas during July 2014 will ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to review the crime as a result of state treason committed by ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, as well as the subsequent occupation of Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine.

"The MH17 catastrophe is being treated as a military crime and, probably, as a crime against humanity. The joint investigative group of four countries, including Ukraine, will insist the case is reviewed by the ICC's criminal court," head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Yuriy Lutsenko told journalists in the Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday.

Lutsenko said military crimes and crimes against humanity committed in eastern Ukraine were the result of occupation [of Ukrainian lands] by Russia. This was the result of actions taken by Yanukovych vis-a-vis the Russian Federation "to stay in power" during the Revolution of Dignity in late 2013 and early 2014. The PGO head said Ukraine insists on linking the events and requests ands asks the investigative group to study them.

Lutsenko said that Ukraine's investigation is not capable independently to bring former government officials to justice because they are in the Russian Federation.

"Ukraine's does not have the capacity to bringing the organizers of these crimes to justice," Lutsenko said, referring to alleged crimes committed by Yanukovych and his coterie.

"Those who gave the orders [to carry out the crimes] and violate international conventions, including the part of the Geneva Convention on the rules of military engagement, are located in Moscow," he said.

According to Lutsenko, during the course of the year Ukrainian investigators have been in contact with the ICC and provided it with a large amount of documented evidence. He said Ukrainian law-enforcement officials are pursuing their own criminal investigation against the individuals responsible for the crimes.

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