GOMBAK: Five years after the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, three NGOs are calling for a meeting between the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and the Netherlands to discuss suspending the March 2020 trial of the case.
The Perdana Global Peace Foundation, International Movement for a Just World (JUST) and Global Research said they had come up with an action plan in response to the findings of the Dutch-led investigation into the MH17 tragedy.
JUST president Dr Chandra Muzaffar said a report, based on the MH17: Quest for Justice conference on Saturday (Aug 17), would be sent to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the basis for opening negotiations.
"The urgent task now is to put a stop to the judicial process in March, which sees the beginning of the trial.
"Many major issues have not been resolved, " he said at the conference attended by some 30-plus participants here on Saturday.
On July 17, 2014, the aircraft, with 298 onboard from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Donetsk in the Ukraine.
An international joint investigation team (JIT) led by the Dutch concluded that MH17 was downed by a BUK anti-aircraft missile fired by pro-Russian separatists in the conflict with Ukraine.
In June 2019, the JIT, comprising Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the Ukraine, announced that four individuals – three Russians and one Ukrainian – would be charged with the downing of MH17.
On June 19, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service charged them with murder.
International arrest warrants were issued for the accused who are expected to be tried in absentia on March 9, 2020, in the District Court of The Hague.
The four are Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
Then on June 20, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the decision to charge the four was a political plot against Russia.
He said Malaysia was not convinced by the JIT’s findings and demanded that the investigators provide proof that the Russians were behind the shooting.
The action plan stated that if the JIT's report was flawed, there was a need to formulate alternative measures.
Dr Chandra claimed that a new investigation to redress the "irregularities" of the JIT investigation was required, given the evidence – detailed by presenters in the first three sessions of the conference – had been ignored by the JIT.
He said the action plan also stated that skies over war zones should be closed to commercial airlines, as recommended by the JIT report.
The NGOs also plan to disseminate the conference report as widely as possible.