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Netherlands to address Russia's role in the downing of MH17 at hearing before European Court of Human Rights

NETHERLANDS, January 24 - News item | 24-01-2022 | 19:55

At a public hearing in Strasbourg on Wednesday, the Netherlands will explain the application it has lodged with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against Russia regarding its role in the downing of flight MH17. At the hearing, the Dutch representative to the ECtHR will address the Court.

On 10 July 2020, the Netherlands brought an inter-State application before the ECtHR against Russia regarding its role in the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch nationals, lost their lives.   ‘The downing of flight MH17 caused untold suffering,’ said foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra. ‘There must be consequences. The hearing before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is an important step in the Netherlands’ efforts to achieve justice for the victims and their next of kin. That is and will remain the government's priority.’   The hearing will be about the admissibility of the application. Among the questions to be addressed is whether Russia exercised effective control in eastern Ukraine at the time of the downing of MH17.   During the hearing, the Netherlands will publicly raise, for the first time in international legal proceedings, Russia's role in the downing of MH17. The government considers it important to enable the position of the next of kin to be clearly presented during the proceedings before the Court. Part of the available speaking time will therefore be allocated to a representative of the next of kin to address the Court on their behalf.   The ECtHR ordered that the Netherlands’ application be joined with two earlier applications brought by Ukraine against Russia relating to events in eastern Ukraine. The admissibility of those two applications will also be considered at the hearing. The Netherlands retains its procedural position as a party in its own right, independent of Ukraine, and its sole focus is Russia's role in the downing of flight MH17.   The hearing will take place on Wednesday at 09.15 at the ECtHR in Strasbourg and will be held in public. Video footage will be available after the hearing.

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