Dutch government has spent RM852mil dealing with the downing of MH17

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP): The Dutch government has spent more than €166mil (RM851.99mil) dealing with the aftermath of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, from repatriating victims' bodies to investigating and prosecuting some of those involved in the downing, according to an official report Thursday (Feb 29).

The Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, using a Russian-made Buk missile fired from territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by separatist rebels. All 298 passengers and crew were killed, including 196 Dutch citizens.

A Dutch court convicted two Russians and a pro-Moscow Ukrainian in 2022 of involvement in the downing of MH17 and sentenced them to life imprisonment. They were tried in absentia and have not been detained to serve their sentences.

The court ruled that the missile and its launcher were driven into Ukraine from a military base in Russia and the launcher returned to Russia afterward.

The trial and the massive investigation that preceded it cost a total of more than €87mil (RM446.53mil), according to the Netherlands Court of Audit, which calculated costs through the end of 2022.

The total does not include about €16.5mil (RM84.69mil) that the Dutch government paid to next of kin last year as an advance on compensation that the Dutch court ordered the three men convicted in the downing of MH17 to pay.

"This compensation should ultimately be paid by the perpetrators, but it is open to question whether they will," the report said.

The Dutch government asked the independent auditor to estimate the costs as it intends to seek compensation from Russia in a case the Netherlands and Australia filed at the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Moscow denies any role in the downing.

The Dutch government also is supporting families who have brought a case against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights.

Repatriating and identifying the bodies of those killed cost more than €31mil (RM159.11mil), the audit said. International legal proceedings and diplomacy accounted for €5.7mil (RM29.26mil). – AP

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MH17 , Netherlands , Expenditure , Russia , Costs , Compensation


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