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Malaysia Airlines MH17: Multi-Million Pound Law Suit Looms Over Putin’s Head, Assets At Risk

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 28, 2014 2:45 PM EST

A multi-million pound law suit is looming over Russian President Vladimir Putin's head for his alleged involvement in the uncalled and accidental downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 on July 17 that claimed 298 lives.

REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of the Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The class suit will be filed by the families of the aeroplane's victims and will be prepared by British lawyers. It will be pursued in the U.S. courts.

This suit comes after the global community called for the World Cup not to be pursued in Mr Putin's country in 2018.

Read: Malaysia Airlines MH17: Russian International Condemnation Extends to 2018 World Cup

 

If convicted and the Russian president fails to pay the mandated compensation, his assets as well as his cronies will be frozen.

On Friday, the International Monetary Fund feared the Malaysia Airlines MH17 aviation accident and the supposed involvement of Russia into it will force the country into recession, activated by the sanctions imposed by the European Union member-states.

Read: IMF Slashes Overall 2014 Global Forecast; Russia's Implications with Malaysia Airlines MH17 Could Bring Economy to Recession

 

Read: Malaysia Airlines MH17: EU Feared Won't Ever Enforce Sanctions on Russia; All Talk, No Force

Reports earlier quoted U.S. intelligence authorities that a Russian-made SA-11 missile fired from a Buk mobile launcher was the culprit that downed Malaysia Airlines MH17 into eastern Ukraine.

The Russian-backed rebels, it is believed, targeted the Boeing 777 because they thought it to be a Ukrainian military aircraft.

"There has been talk of civil suits against Malaysia Airlines, but those immediately responsible are not only the separatists who are alleged to have fired the rocket at Flight MH17, causing the death of hundreds of innocent victims, but those, be they states, individuals or other entities, who provided them with financial and material support and the means to do so," a spokesman for McCue & Partners, the London law firm, that will handle the case, said in a statement:

"Our team is presently liaising and working with partners in Ukraine and the US on whether, apart from civil suits against the airline, legal action can be brought against the perpetrators on the victims' behalf."

Despite the crash site having been "compromised" and "moved," Simon Smith, the British ambassador to Ukraine, believed identifying the missile that knocked the airliner out of the sky and shredded it into pieces is only just a matter of time.

However, it's regrettable, he said, that a lot of the evidence was no longer where it used or should be immediately after the crash happened. "There may be some lines of inquiry that take an immensely long time to work through."

Read: Malaysia Airlines MH17: Investigation into Cause of Crash Could Stretch to a Year; Black Box May Not Prove Missile as Cause

The Telegraph said that investigators still have yet to commence collecting forensic evidence nine days after the crash. With this scenario, finding what caused the doomed fate of Malaysia Airlines MH17, and who triggered it, could now take years to complete.

"I am afraid this is going to go on for years for the simple reason the crash site is now substantially contaminated. People have been trampling all over it; debris has been shifted, cut up and removed," Chris Yates, an independent aviation analyst who has worked as a consultant on a number of air crashes, told the Telegraph.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA / )
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of the Security Council in Moscow's Kremlin July 22, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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