Two NGOs compile report on ‘flaws’ in MH17 probe

Social activist Chandra Muzaffar.

GOMBAK: Two NGOs lead by social activist Chandra Muzaffar are to write to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad about their dissatisfaction with the murder trials of three Russians and a Ukrainian suspected of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine five years ago.

Chandra said that the International Movement for a Just World and the Perdana Global Peace Foundation would submit a discussion report from a conference held today about the MH17 tragedy.

“Our concern is the judicial process initiated by the Dutch government and their Joint Investigation Team on MH17,” he said after the conference.

He alleged that there were “so many flaws and unanswered questions” in the judicial process and that family members of the crash victims would not obtain justice for the shooting down of the airliner.

Chandra did not give details of the alleged flaws in the investigation. He said these included “unanswered questions” such as why Malaysia had been excluded from the JIT at first but was later bought in; questions about a change of MH17’s flight plan which he said was made at the eleventh hour, and data from other sources which were not considered by the Joint Investigating Team.

He alleged that the investigations were biased against Russia.

Chandra said the group sought to stop the Joint Investigation Team attempt’s to put the four accused on trial for murder.

Mahathir has previously criticised the JIT’s findings saying that they wanted to blame Russia as the culprit responsible for the downing of MH17.

Dutch authorities said in June that murder charges had been filed against Igor Girkin, Serget Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov (Russians who had served with military intelligence) and Leonid Kharchenko (a former Ukrainian commander).

The MH17 crash killed all 298 people on board the plane which was brought down by a missile while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.

Hearings of the murder charges are scheduled to start on March 9, 2020. Dutch authorities have said arrest warrants have been issued, but Russia has not cooperated with the MH17 investigation and is not expected to surrender the four men.

The trial may be conducted in their absence, Dutch authorities said.