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German Families To Sue Ukraine Over MH17 Crash

Debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is seen at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80 kilometers east of Donetsk.

A German lawyer plans to sue Ukraine for negligence for the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine.

Elmar Giemulla, a specialist in aviation law, says he also may also sue Russia.

Giemulla said the lawsuit would be filed at the European Court of Human Rights in the coming weeks on behalf of three German families who lost relatives in the tragedy.

He argued that Kyiv was negligent even if pro-Russian separatists or Russian troops shot down the plane -- as Kyiv has claimed.

That, he said, was because aviation law requires a government to close its airspace if it cannot guarantee the security of planes flying through it.

Giemulla reportedly was planning to seek compensation payments of 1 million euros ($1.3 million), for each passenger killed.

He said other relatives of victims can join the lawsuit.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP