MH17 crash: Putin could be sued over Russia's alleged involvement in Malaysia Airlines crash
A London law firm is reportedly preparing legal action against the Kremlin on behalf of the MH17 families
President Vladimir Putin faces a potential multi-million pound lawsuit for his alleged involvement in the MH17 disaster.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, British lawyers are preparing a class action against Putin via the American courts on behalf of distraught relatives, which could also affect senior persons in the Russian military and politicians.
The families of victims will reportedly be invited to join the legal claim, which Western politicians have no power to prevent.
It comes amid already-strained tensions between Russia and the west, with the former consistently rebutting claims that it has supplied pro-Moscow rebels with sophisticated weaponry with which to attack Ukraine forces.
The US and some European countries believe that Mr Putin’s regime was partially responsible for the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight after it stoked the conflict and provided arms to the separatists.
Russia denies the allegations.
MH17 is believed to have been brought down with a surface-to-air missile, though a wide-ranging investigation has yet to be undertaken.
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Lawyers from London law firm McCue & Partners has reportedly flown to Ukraine for preliminary discussions on how any litigation should be filed.
It comes as economic, energy and travel sanctions could be whacked on Russia by the European Union, again for its alleged part in the MH17 catastrophe.
Asset freezes and sanctions on its banking and defence could spell irritation for Russian firms, after Britain said there was a “broad consensus” that these should be applied, The Guardian reports.
Downing Street said officials were still debating whether to roll out these sanctions to current or only future contracts with Russian companies.
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Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said his country was also imposing sanctions.
There will be restrictions on imports from Crimea as well as the freezing of assets of people or groups that support the splitting of pro-Moscow Crimea from the rest of Ukraine.
The move has yet to go through the Cabinet before Japan will release a list of those affected.
“We urge Russia to exercise influence over separatist groups in Ukraine so that they will cooperate in the international probe into the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down,” Mr Suga said.
“Japan truly hopes that the Ukrainian situation will be resolved as soon as possible through diplomatic dialogue.”
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