MH17 European Court on Human Rights Green Lights Lawsuit against Ukraine

The aircraft went down in July 2014 killing all passengers onboard.
The aircraft went down in July 2014 killing all passengers onboard.

According to RT, the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) has given the go-ahead for victims of the MH17 crash to file lawsuits against the Ukrainian Government after an internal investigation finds that MH17 was shot down intentionally. There have already been applicants to such lawsuits against the country.

Four applicants named Tim Lauschet, Elena Ioppa, Chris Kenke and Denise Kenke, all German nationals, claim that the Ukrainian authorities “failed to protect the relatives’ life by not completely closing the airspace above the ongoing armed conflict in the region through which the MH17 flight passed.”

The lawsuit states that the Boeing B777 “was under control of the Ukrainian air traffic authority and was operated by a licensed and qualified flight crew,” flying at [an] allowed altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit and “disintegrated in the airspace.” Furthermore, the Ukrainians were also aware about the rebel fighting in the country and that such arms that the rebels had were powerful enough to take down a passenger jet. The airspace has been kept open “intentionally,” the applicants claimed, accusing Kiev of actions that resulted in death of their relatives.

Elmar Giemulla, a German lawyer and leading expert on air law who represents the four applicants said that “There were about 700 civilian flights through the Ukrainian airspace per day,” each carrying 100-150 persons, said Giemulla, who is also professor at the Berlin University of Technology’s Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Thus, “definitely, thousands of people have been jeopardized as a consequence of the decision of the Ukrainian government not to close its airspace.”