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 Families of MH17 victims sued terrorist Girkin for $900 million, - The Telegraph

Igor Girkin, former leader of the eastern Ukraine separatists, has been officially accused of orchestrating the Malaysian Boeing downing over Ukraine in summer 2014.

This was announced by The Telegraph, Censor.NET reports.

Igor Girkin, the leader of Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, was on Wednesday formally accused of orchestrating the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight, MH17, in July last year.

A writ filed in Chicago also alleges that Mr Girkin was acting with the blessing of the Kremlin when his forces fired at the Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The case has been brought on behalf of the families of 18 of the passengers on board the aircraft, including six Britons.

They are claiming a total of $900 million (£575 million).

In all 298 people died when a missile was fired at the aircraft as it flew over eastern Ukraine.

Read more: CNN sources say MH17 report blames Russian missile for shooting down plane

Attention focused on Mr Girkin after a Russian social media page, with which his group was linked, claimed responsibility for taking out a Ukrainian An-26, adding, "We warned them - don't fly in our sky."

The post, which was swiftly removed, led to accusations that Mr Girkin's militiamen could have brought down the Boeing 777 by mistake.

However the Donetsk People's Republic has always denied responsibility for the MH17 disaster.

This has been challenged by the court papers in Chicago which claimed: "Flight 17 flew over the airspace of the area in which the aforesaid rebel army was waging its war activities and the rebel army under the command responsibility of defendant Girkin shot down the subject Boeing 777-200 aircraft."

Mr Girkin, it added: "ordered, aided and/or abetted this action and/or conspired with those persons who fired the missile or missiles."

Myroslava Reginskaya, a spokesman for Igor Girkin, who also goes by the nom-de-guerre Igor Strelkov, said the former commander would not be responding to the allegations.

"We have no comment to make and we will not be making a comment in this situation. If these people are idiots then they are idiots," she said.

Read more: Malaysia distributed draft resolution to UN Security Council on creation of MH17 tribunal

The writ also alleged that individuals under his command "took responsibility" for shooting down the aircraft.

In addition the writ accused the Kremlin of being complicit in the atrocity.

It said the missile which brought down the aircraft came from Russia to the Ukraine.

"Defendant Girkin acted with the actual or apparent authority of individuals in the Government of Russia," the lawsuit added.

Floyd Wisner, the lawyer who has instigated the action, has used the US Torture Victim Protection Act, which can be used against foreign nationals, to bring a case against Mr Girkin in an American court.

"It is not about money, it is about getting answers from Girkin and putting pressure on Russia to co-operate with the international tribunal," Mr Wisner said.

"There is no cost to the families. We are doing this as a service to them and they want some answers and they don't want to be forgotten," he added.

A case has also been lodged against Malaysia Airlines on behalf of Reine Dalziel, whose husband Cameron was killed in the crash.

It is alleged that the carrier was negligent in plotting a route over eastern Ukraine. At the time it was an "internationally recognised conflict zone" over which US airlines had been banned from flying.

It was also being avoided by other major international carriers, including British Airways.

The claim has been submitted on his behalf, because Mr Dalziel had bought the plane ticket in the US.

Malaysia Airlines declined to comment.

 
 
 
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