Russia vetoes resolution to create tribunal for downing of MH17

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The Security Council met in New York on Wednesday. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Russia has vetoed a resolution of the UN Security Council aiming to establish an international tribunal to persecute persons responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The plane was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam on 17 July 2014 when it crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

An investigation by the Dutch Safety Board confirmed that it was hit by a large number of what it called “high energy objects” that penetrated the aircraft from the outside.

Ukraine has been plagued by fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government forces since April of last year.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Eleven nations of the 15-member council voted in favour of a tribunal which would build upon current investigative efforts.

But Angola, China and Venezuela abstained, while the Russian Federation voted against it.

A two thirds majority is needed for a resolution to be adopted by the Security Council, as long as no permanent member of the UN-body uses its power of veto, which includes Russia.

The Minister of Transport of Malaysia, Mr Liow Tiong Lai, told Security Council members that his country is deeply disappointed.

“Instead of convening a message in support of justice and accountability, we are sending a dangerous message of impunity for the perpetrator of this heinous crime, as well as jeopardizing the safety of civil aviation over conflict zones in the future.”

Minister Lai added that Malaysia will not be deterred by what he called the  “unfortunate event” in the Security Council and will ensure justice for all the innocent victims on the plane.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04″

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