Mother of German MH17 victim sues Ukraine

Woman says that Ukraine should have restricted flights as war raged as she demands $1m in damages.

    Mother of German MH17 victim sues Ukraine
    The crash over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine killed all 298 passengers and crew on board [Reuters]

    The mother of a victim of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has begun legal proceedings against Ukraine, demanding $1m from Kiev in damages for negligent homicide.

    The woman lodged her complaint at the European Court of Human Rights last week, accusing Kiev of failing to close the country's airspace, the German newspaper Bild reported Sunday.

    The woman said Ukraine should have closed its airspace to civilian flights when fighting raged in the east of the country, but chose not to because it did not want to lose out on overflight fees.

    Flight MH17 exploded over rebel-held east Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 on board.

    At the time, some 700 flights were thought to be crossing Ukrainian territory per day, bringing in millions of dollars a month in revenue, Bild added.

    Elmar Giemulla, an attorney and professor of aviation law who is representing the woman, had earlier suggested that the Ukrainian government bore responsibility for the security of the flight.

    "By keeping its airspace open for transit by aircraft from other countries, the state must ensure the safety of the flights. If this is temporarily impossible, it means that it should close its airspace," Giemulla told the AFP news agency in September.

    Kiev and the West have blamed the incident on the rebels and accused Moscow of arming them, but the rebels and Moscow deny the accusations.

    European governments have so far refrained from openly pointing the finger. A Dutch investigative commission that had access to the flight recorder stopped short at blaming either side for the crash.

    SOURCE: AFP


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