29 Jul 2015

UN Security Council to vote on MH17 tribunal

8:05 pm on 29 July 2015

A year after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine, the UN Security Council is set to vote on whether an independent criminal tribunal should prosecute those responsible.

Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, on 18 July 2014 in eastern Ukraine, a day after the plane came down.

Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, on 18 July 2014 in eastern Ukraine, a day after the plane came down. Photo: AFP

Malaysia submitted a draft resolution earlier this month but it may be blocked by Russia.

Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin has already said he will wield Russia's veto power if the resolution gets the nine necessary votes.

Public attention has focused on leaked information that points to the culpability of Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists but Russian officials have denied arming the rebels.

All 298 people on board the passenger plane were killed during the crash in July 2014.

Russia has submitted its own draft resolution calling for the UN to conduct a broader inquiry into the crime.

Some UN experts say that with France, the UK, China and the US also having veto power, it is likely that both resolutions will be blocked.

The UN Security Council - which is currently led by New Zealand - has five permanent members, each with veto power: Russia, France, the UK, China and the US.

It also has 10 non-permanent members, which are each elected for two-year-terms.

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