TVP World guest Julian Spassov, a lawyer and a partner at the McGregor & Partners, said that the court ruling in the Malaysian flight trial gave some closure to the families of the victims. He added that extradition of the three convicted men from Russia would be really difficult at the moment.
The MH17 passenger flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
A Dutch court said that the plane was shot down in 2014 by a Russian-made missile fired from a field in eastern Ukraine and that Russia had overall control of separatist forces at the time. The court found three men with links to Russia guilty of downing the flight.
Spassov said that today’s ruling was a result of a long process and an extensive effort from large multi-national teams of investigators and lawyers. It is also solace and closure for families of nearly 300 people who lost their lives.
According to Spassov, the International Criminal Court in The Hague has sent a strong signal to all who commit war crimes showing them that their crimes would be punished sooner or later. The lawyer pointed out that such crimes have to be well documented and investigated before reaching court.
In his opinion, extradition of the three men convicted today would be very difficult but not entirely impossible. Considering the political climate at the moment and Russia’s denial of any involvement in the downing of the MH17 flight, it is unlikely that the convicted men are put in prison anytime soon. However, in time the rules of international law have to be applied in this case, added Spassov.
In relation to the recent missile incident in eastern Poland, Spassov said that families of the two victims may also apply to the international court to seek justice and compensation for the deaths of their relatives.