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Russia rebuffs calls for U.N. tribunal on MH17 downing

Friday, July 17, 2015 - 01:40

Calls for the creation of a U.N. tribunal to investigate the downing of flight MH17 have been rebuffed by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the one year anniversary of the tragedy. Natasha Howitt reports.

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It is one year since this Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Yet many questions behind the cause of the crash remain unanswered. Calls have emerged for the creation of a special U.N tribunal to deal with the issues, and prosecute the suspects behind the downing. But Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, has dismissed them, believing the move to be spearheaded by the United States. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "If Washington thinks it knows everything, and the United States supports in the most active way the creation of the (U.N.) tribunal via the Security Council resolution, then we can quickly understand what the aim of this tribunal is. It turns out it will need to ensure punishment of those who Washington has decided are guilty." Western governments believe Russian-backed rebels shot down the plane on July 17 last year with a Russian-supplied missile, but Russia has firmly denied any involvement. They say the flight was hit with a missile fired from a Ukrainian fighter jet, something Kiev denies. On the eve of the one year anniversary in Kiev, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko called for justice. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UKRAINE PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "A highly technological weapon, with which the aircraft was shot could have come into hands of the terrorists only from Russia. It would not have happened without a participation, without a direct order from the highest political and military leadership of the neighbouring state. The Netherlands is leading the criminal investigation, assisted by Belgium, Australia and Ukraine. A final report by the Dutch Safety Board on the cause of the crash is due in October.

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Russia rebuffs calls for U.N. tribunal on MH17 downing

Friday, July 17, 2015 - 01:40