Time to ratify Rome statute

THE Joint Investigation Team led by the Dutch concluded last Thursday that the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 belonged to a Russian brigade.

With this revelation, efforts must be taken to uphold justice for all victims and to their families.

The Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board including 43 Malaysians were en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

The plane crashed near a village in Eastern Ukraine.

Two years ago, Malaysia had proposed to the UN the establishment of an international tribunal.

The submitted draft resolution called for a tribunal under chapter VII of the UN Charter which would provide the highest degree of legitimacy for the trial.

Sadly, the proposed draft resolution was vetoed by Russia which saw the proposal as counter-productive and biased.

There are still other ways to bring justice on this matter like invoking any possible local criminal law in our country which has the extraterritorial or extra jurisdiction application to punish those who shot down the plane like the Malaysian Penal Code and Aviation Offences Act 1984.

The issue can also be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court that was created to protect people from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

The ICC has proven itself to be an effective mechanism to address many issues relating to international crimes and the tragedy involving MH17 should be seen as an international crime which can be brought to trial at the international court.

It would benefit Malaysia if we sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which recognised the existence of the ICC.

By ratifying the statute another legal avenue will be open to bring justice for all the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Muzaffar Syah Mallow
Kuala Lumpur