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MH17 investigators ask ICC to review case as result of Russian agression

MH17 investigators ask ICC to review case as result of Russian agressionThe international investigation group probing the downing of the Boeing passenger airliner MH17 in Donbas in July 2014 will ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to review the crime as a result of state treason committed by ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, as well as the subsequent occupation of Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine.

"The MH17 catastrophe is being treated as a military crime and, probably, as a crime against humanity. The joint investigative group of four countries, including Ukraine, will insist the case is reviewed by the ICC's criminal court," head of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) Yuriy Lutsenko told journalists in the Hague, Netherlands.

Lutsenko said military crimes and crimes against humanity committed in eastern Ukraine were the results of occupation [of Ukrainian lands] by Russia. This was the result of actions taken by Yanukovych vis-a-vis the Russian Federation "to stay in power" during the Revolution of Dignity in late 2013 and early 2014. The PGO head said Ukraine insists on linking the events and requests and asks the investigative group to study them.

Lutsenko said that Ukraine's investigation is not capable independently of bringing former government officials to justice because they are in the Russian Federation.

"Ukraine's does not have the capacity to bringing the organisers of these crimes to justice," Lutsenko said, referring to alleged crimes committed by Yanukovych and his coterie.

"Those who gave the orders [to carry out the crimes] and violate international conventions, including the part of the Geneva Convention on the rules of military engagement, are located in Moscow," he said.

According to Lutsenko, during the course of the year, Ukrainian investigators have been in contact with the ICC and provided it with a large amount of documented evidence. He said Ukrainian law-enforcement officials are pursuing their own criminal investigation against the individuals responsible for the crimes.
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