OSCE Permanent Council
20 June 2019
Statement by HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Ambassador of Australia
MH17 Joint Investigation Team announcement - Australian Statement
Thank you, Chair.
First I want to thank the Ambassador of the Netherlands for informing the Permanent Council of the decision of the Dutch Public Prosecutor, in conjunction with the MH17 Joint Investigation Team to prosecute four individuals for their alleged roles in the downing of MH17.
As a member of the Joint Investigation Team, Australia would like to add its voice to that of the Netherlands in noting that – with this decision – the prosecution phase has begun.
Noting also – however – that the investigation phase remains ongoing, and that the JIT continues to call for further witnesses to come forward.
And in further noting that UN Security Council Resolution 2166 calls upon all states to provide any requested assistance to civil and criminal investigations in relation to the downing of MH17, and to cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability.
I wish to reiterate that Australia remains steadfast in its commitment to pursuing accountability for the downing of MH17, and to achieving justice for the victims and their loved ones.
We consider the decision of the Dutch National Prosecutor’s Office to be a significant step towards achieving such justice and accountability.
Moreover, we believe that these prosecutions represent a reinforcement of the rule of law, and that they send a strong message to those responsible for the downing, and to any others who might consider committing similar acts that such crimes can, and will, be prosecuted in an independent court.