The United States will continue to support the efforts of the Joint Investigation Team and urges other states to cooperate fully in order to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. As we and the Joint Investigation Team have said, Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine fired the surface-to-air BUK missile — brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia — that took down flight MH17. We welcome the team’s recent decision to grant jurisdiction to the Dutch courts for the prosecution of those responsible for this tragedy. We have full confidence in the ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to conduct a prosecution that is comprehensive, objective and just.
Recently, on July 5, the Joint Investigative Team made up of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine announced its decision to prosecute the suspects in the Netherlands. Canada appreciates the tireless efforts by the investigative team to bring the facts surrounding this tragedy to light. Canada also strongly supports this decision regarding prosecution and will extend its full cooperation to these efforts.
This approach is an effective way of ensuring that those responsible are held accountable in line with international standards. Today, Canada urges other countries to support this effort, which is consistent with the call for accountability and cooperation unanimously adopted in UN Security Council Resolution 2166.
The criminal investigation into the circumstances of the attack on MH17 is still ongoing and I would like to express my full confidence in the Joint Investigation Team that is conducting it. It has now been decided that the suspected perpetrators will be tried in the Netherlands, and the prosecution can count on close and continuing international backing and cooperation. There is broad international support for bringing the perpetrators to justice. This is – and will remain – the Dutch government’s top priority.
Two investigations have been carried out into this case. The first was a technical investigation led by the Dutch Security Board. The second was a criminal investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), made up from prosecutors from Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Malaysia, According to both investigations the aircraft was downed by a BUK missile. And that BUK missile was launched from territory controlled by Russia-backed terrorists. Furthermore, the same BUK missile was brought from Russia and after the attack its launcher was delivered back to Russia.
But we are only halfway to our ultimate objective. We want to know who pushed the button, who gave the order and what was the ultimate chain of command. In short the world needs to know, and the families of the 298 who were slain need to know, who was ultimately responsible for the murder of their loved ones.
The five countries making up the Joint Investigation Team have now decided to prosecute those responsible for downing of MH17. This will be done within the Dutch judicial system and as the process begins, we count on the support of all nations and people of good will.
The threshold of proof is high and the trial must be objective and the verdict internationally recognized. Those who would foment wars in sovereign countries by supporting and funding terrorists and sending others to kill must be exposed for what they are and held to account. No less than the core values of our rules based world order, for which the likes of the Russian Federation show so much contempt, depend on this happening.