Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) today said they will soon ask for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s help to prevent the trial of four individuals over the 2014 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from starting.
Chandra Muzaffar, president of NGO International Movement for a Just World (JUST), said the trial must not go on as the prior investigations were allegedly “flawed”.
“First and most urgent task emanating from this conference, we should do what we can to put a stop to the judicial process initiated by the Joint Investigation Team, the Dutch-led process that would in March 2020 see perhaps the beginning of the trial,” he said at the end of a full-day conference here on MH17.
“We have to try to stop this from happening, this is where what we have discussed and what we feel about this should be convened to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad so he can take it up with the Dutch government, it has to be bilateral level perhaps prime to prime minister,” he added.
Chandra said Malaysia could also seek to inform other JIT members that it thinks the trial should not proceed, arguing that the JIT decides based on consensus.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) members are the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.
The JIT had previously concluded that MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014 by an anti-aircraft BUK missile originating from a Russian military brigade.
The JIT had on July 19 charged three Russians and one Ukrainian over the downing of MH17 where all 298 onboard were killed, and had said trial would start in March 2020.
Chandra was speaking at the “MH17: The Quest for Justice” conference, which was jointly-organised by JUST, the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), and the Canada-based Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) with the collaboration of the International Islamic University of Malaysia.
Chandra also outlined a few other proposals as part of the NGOs’ action plan, including setting up a committee with lawyers to examine legal alternatives to the MH17 trial such as filing civil lawsuits or setting up commissions of inquiry.
Chandra also proposed the creation of a citizens’ movement backing alternative views on the MH17 incident,