Armed pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine walk past next to the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Photo: EPA/ANASTASIA VLASOVA via Bing (CC).
Armed pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine walk past next to the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Photo: EPA/ANASTASIA VLASOVA via Bing (CC).

Dutch FM announces intention for prosecutions over MH17 before Dutch courts: On 5 July 2017, the Dutch Foreign Ministry announced that the downing of flight MH17 in 2014 will be prosecuted in the Netherlands in respect of all 298 victims. The announcement follows the agreement of the five countries cooperating in the investigation of the incident; Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands. The Netherlands and Ukraine have signed a bilateral treaty to give effect to the decision. No suspects have been named as yet. The Dutch Safety Board concluded in 2016 that the plane was shot down by a Russian-made rocket that was fired from territory held by pro-Russia separatists in the Ukraine. Conversely, a Russian investigation concluded that the missile was launched from Ukrainian-controlled territory. (The Independent, Bloomberg, Reuters, Government of the Netherlands)

ICC logo. Photo: insight-post.tw via Bing (CC).
ICC logo. Photo: insight-post.tw via Bing (CC).

SA expresses opposition to decision of ICC on non-cooperation: On 6 July 2017, the Chairman of the South African Parliament’s international relations and co-operation portfolio committee, Siphosezwe Masango, stated that South Africa was justified in not arresting Sudans’s President Omar Al-Bashir when he was in South Africa for an African Union summit in 2015. Masango said the decision of the ICC confirmed why the government wanted to withdraw from the Court. However, spokespeople for the Democratic Alliance and Inkatha Freedom Party subsequently stated that Masango’s statement was not authorized by the committee. The comments follow the decision by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on 6 July 2017 that South Africa breached its obligations under the Rome Statute by failing to apprehend Al-Bashir pursuant to an ICC arrest warrant in 2015. Contrary to South Africa’s arguments that al-Bashir enjoyed immunity from arrest, the Court found that Article 27(2) of the Rome Statute – which excludes head-of-state immunity – prevails over customary international law and that the host agreement for the African Union summit did not itself confer immunity. (TimesLive/AFP, eNCA, IOL)

Post by: Clementine Rendle