Bid blocked at UN to send Malaysian Airlines jet downing to int'l tribunal

Updated: 2015-07-30 10:50


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Bid blocked at UN to send Malaysian Airlines jet downing to int'l tribunal

A girl launches a self-made paper plane outside the Dutch embassy as people gather to commemorate the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane crash a year ago in Kiev, Ukraine, July 17, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS -- Russia on Wednesday vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution which intended to establish an international tribunal for bringing to justice those responsible for the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight over Ukraine one year ago.

The vote was 11-1, with abstentions by Angola, China and Venezuela.

All 298 people on board the jetliner were killed on July 17, 2014 when it apparently was shot down while flying from Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over eastern Ukraine where separatists, allegedly supported by Russia, fought Kiev-backed troops.

Liow Tiong Lai, transport minister for Malaysia, a non- permanent member of the council and sponsor of the draft, said, " We are deeply disappointed at the failure to adopt the draft resolution to establish an ad hoc criminal international tribunal for MH17."

"Malaysia, together with the countries participating in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), had wanted to pursue this option since it would have generated broad international support for the prosecution process," he said. "It was also the best way for insuring the cooperation of all nations for an effective prosecution mechanism to insure justice and accountability."

"Unfortunately .. the council is now taking a step back by sending the wrong signal to the victims' families and loved ones," Lai said.

"Instead of conveying a message in support of justice and accountability, we are sending 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," the Malaysian envoy said. "I wish to stress that Malaysia will not be deterred by today's unfortunate event."

Ambassador Liu Jieyi of China, said his nation supports Security Council resolution 2166, "holding an objective, impartial and independent international investigation into the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice."

He was referring to the council resolution approved last year that condemned the disaster, called on all parties involved to facilitate recovery and repatriation and demanding those responsible be held to account.

"The current focus should be on establishing the truth of the incident and seeking justice for the victims," he said. "If the Security Council could have reached consensus on the next step to be taken concerning .. the crash of MH17 it would have been able to send out a positive signal that the international community was maintaining a common position on this issue."