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Malaysia Readies MH17 Tribunal Measure For UN As Russia Balks

Malaysia July 8 circulated a draft United Nations resolution establishing an international tribunal guaranteeing an independent trial for those behind the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine.

The move came amid deepening resistance from Russia, which has said action against the perpetrators is premature.

"Russia is opposed to the idea of setting up the tribunal because the inquiry into this incident is not over yet," tweeted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov July 8.

An international investigation spearheaded by the Netherlands is not due to report its findings until October, although prosecutors are believed to be pursuing evidence that pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine used a surface-to-air missile supplied by Russia to shoot down the plane.

Russia has denied any involvement and is conducting a separate investigation into the incident, which killed nearly 300 people.

Russia's acquiescence to the UN proposal would be necessary as it wields veto power over UN Security Council resolutions.

Malaysia's draft resolution would set up the tribunal under chapter 7 of the UN charter, which means that the court's efforts to prosecute those responsible could be enforced by sanctions.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and Ukraine Today

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