Vladimir Putin and the Russian state are being sued by the families of those who died on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
MH17 was shot down in July 2014 over a pro-Russian rebel territory in the Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
In the aftermath of the crash, the Ukrainian government stated that the Buk surface-to-air missile was launched by “Russian professionals and coordinated from Russia”.
Now, Sky News reports that Australian law firm LHD Lawyers co-associate Jerry Skinner, who also represented the Lockerbie bombing families, has filed a compensation claim in the European Court of Human Rights.
The suit, filed on May 9, names the Russian Federation and Putin as respondents, and is reportedly seeking $10 million (£7m) in compensation per passenger.
33 next of kin of victims from Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia are being represented by the firm.
An Australian coroner ruled that six Australians who died in the MH17 plane crash were victims of a ‘gross mass murder’.
Speaking to News Corp, Mr Skinner said:
We’re all sitting with our fingers crossed – there are some legal determinations they will have to make. We didn’t go to Russia and file suit in Moscow because it’s absolute nonsense to think we could have a realistic chance of success. We plead futility, we plead danger and we plead their lack of co-operation.
The Dutch Safety Board concluded in its final report late last year that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian-made missile.
However, Russia disputed the board’s findings, claiming it must have been launched by Ukrainian government forces and calling for an investigation to be carried out by the United Nations.