MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The proposed UN tribunal on the MH17 plane crash in southeastern Ukraine would descend into a veritable kangaroo court on Russia’s alleged role in what the West believes was a downing by Moscow-backed Ukrainian militias, experts told Sputnik on Friday.
On Wednesday, Russia blocked a UN draft resolution to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those behind the Malaysian Boeing 777 plane crash in July 2014. Moscow said it would continue to assist the impartial probe into the tragedy that left 298 people dead, but only under the terms of the previous UN resolution on the matter.
"The aim of those who wanted to create the tribunal was to make a body of international justice [that would] become a tribunal against the Russian leader [Vladimir Putin]," said Martin Braxatoris, co-chairman of the Slovak news portal DespiteBorders.com.
"If we take into consideration the statements made by such people as the former UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Balkans, who compared Putin to [Yugoslavian former president Slobodan] Milosevic, I think that those who want to create the tribunal want to blame Russia, but in the end to blame personally Putin," Gajic said.
Braxatoris noted that countries behind the Hague tribunal bid had a "ready verdict" on Russia’s involvement even as they floated this idea. It is based on evidence that has never been made public, despite Moscow’s calls for any relevant information to be shared with all the parties concerned.
"Therefore I think it could repeat the fate of the Tribunal on former Yugoslavia. There is a serious risk that the work of this organ would have been politicized," he said.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was set up in 1993 to probe war crimes committed on its territory since 1991. Gajic said that it followed a colonial court model that put its creators above the legal process.
"I think that this is the reason for the Russian misgivings about the Tribunal on the Malaysian Boeing. Russia smells the malicious intent," he said, adding that Russia would not be in control of the proceedings like some of the other interested parties.
Russia has repeatedly stressed that the initiative to create a tribunal is premature and counterproductive. Moscow insists that it is necessary to wait for the Dutch Safety Board to release their final report into the crash.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.