Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine

Lawyer: “Each state is responsible for security of its airspace”

Relatives of the German victims of Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for manslaughter by negligence in 298 cases, the news agency Reuters reports.

Under international law, Ukraine should have closed its airspace if it could not guarantee the safety of flights, argues professor of aviation law Elmar Giemulla, who is representing three families of German victims.

“Each state is responsible for the security of its airspace,” he said in a statement. “If it is not able to do so temporarily, it must close its air space. As that did not happen, Ukraine is liable for the damage.”

Giemulla aims to hand his case to the European Court of Human Rights in two weeks’ time. He would like to see compensation of up to €1 million per victim. So far Malaysia Airlines has offered relatives of each victim $5,000 in financial assistance.

Bild am Sonntag / Reuters

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