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 Australia strives to prevent vetoing creation of independent UN tribunal on Malaysian Boeing downing

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is attempting to convince Vladimir Putin's Russia and allies to back an independent UN tribunal to prosecute the people who shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

"We cannot allow a veto in the United Nations Security Council to avoid justice," she said in a blunt message for Russia as she arrived in New York, Censor.NET reports citing The Sydney Morning Herald.

Ms. Bishop arrived in New York to lead three more days of intense lobbying and diplomacy, meeting with everyone from Russian UN representative Vitaly Churkin through to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

The crunch vote on the independent criminal tribunal is due in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Read more: Russia to veto UN SC resolution on tribunal over MH17 downing if it scores 9 votes

The Russians are dragging their feet, arguing that although the final report by the joint investigation team is due as soon as October, trying to set up the independent tribunal now is hasty.

Or, as President Putin told Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently, it would be 'premature" and "counterproductive", and a resolution Russia would oppose.

Ms Bishop said Australia hoped a unanimous resolution to establish the international criminal tribunal would be passed once the crash investigation was finalised.

She dismissed Russia's concern about undue haste in establishing the tribunal.

"If that were Russia's concern then I would expect that Russia would abstain, but I will be advocating for a unanimous resolution," she said, pointing out that resolution 2166 last July, which established the investigation, had been unanimous.

"Justice delayed is justice denied. We owe it to the families and the loved ones of those who died on MH17 to pursue the criminal investigation as soon as possible.

"Any further delay sends a very bad message to the increasing number of non-state actors who are capable of such an atrocity. The international community needs to be utterly united in condemning any attack on civilian airlines in commercial airspace."

Read more: Possibility of MH17 prosecution seems doubtful due to Russia's rejection of UN tribunal - WSJ

 
 
 
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