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Topic: MH17 court case: Buk 'em (Read 62 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • osmanthus
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MH17 court case: Buk 'em
MH17: Russia's lawyer goes off-script

An extraordinary thing happened in The Hague this week.

While addressing what he called "the appalling loss of life caused by the shooting down of flight MH17" a lawyer representing Russia in the International Court of Justice failed to issue the stock-standard Kremlin denial.

Before we deal with what he said, let's remind ourselves of what the Russians normally say about MH17.

In September last year, a Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT) concluded a Buk missile brought across the border from Russia into a Ukrainian village controlled by pro-Russian separatists shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 killing 298 people, including 38 Australian citizens and residents.

Russia dismissed the findings. Their officials have consistently denied any weapons, soldiers or equipment were deployed across the border in Ukraine.


London lawyer Samuel Wordsworth QC, a visiting professor at Kings College, is defending Russia in the ICJ against the Ukrainian Government's claims Vladimir Putin's federation is financially supporting terrorism by backing separatist rebels.

The case is a complicated one. The Wordsworth defence is interesting not only for what it says, but for what it doesn't say.

"There is no evidence before the court," he told the judges, "plausible or otherwise, that Russia provided weaponry to any party with the intent or knowledge that such weaponry be used to shoot down civilian aircraft, as would of course be required under Article 2.1."

(Article 2.1 is a key section of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism).

Mr Wordsworth did not run the normal Kremlin defence. Instead he said there was no evidence of intent to provide weapons to shoot down a civilian aircraft.

It is not an unreasonable argument, but it is a long way from what Russia is normally willing to say.

So, what did Russia's top silk quote to back up his legal case? The Dutch-led JIT report that has been consistently dismissed by Russia as biased, politically motivated and full of fabricated evidence.


Samuel Wordsworth QC's logic may end up winning a critical case for Russia in the ICJ, but he may in the process expose some of the holes in the Kremlin's defence of who supplied the Buk missile that killed 298 innocent people.
Curiouser and curiouser. :popcorn:
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