Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Air disaster criminal jurisdiction

[What follows is taken from a report published today by the Reuters news agency:]

The Netherlands or Malaysia is likely to try those responsible for the downing in Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, not the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Dutch said on Wednesday. (...)

The Dutch, who had 195 nationals onboard the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, are leading an international investigation into the crash and it is unlikely the countries involved "will not be able or willing to lead the investigation and prosecution," [Justice Minister Ivo] Opstelten wrote [in a letter to parliament]. (...)

The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the inquiry, said this week it had received a large quantity of evidence from sources outside Ukraine and will not need access to the entire crash site, now inaccessible due to fighting. (...)

The world's legal capital, the Netherlands is the home of several international courts, including the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. It also hosted the trial by British [sic]  judges of two Libyan secret service agents over the 1988 bombing of Pam Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

[My assessment of the jurisdictional possibilities in relation to MH17, as compared with the Lockerbie affair, can be read here.]

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