MH17: Malaysia Airlines reaches settlement with families


Amsterdam: Malaysia Airlines has struck a deal to settle damages claims for most victims of its MH17 flight that was shot down over eastern Ukraine two years ago, Dutch national broadcaster NOS has reported.

NOS cited Veeru Mewa, a lawyer representing Dutch victims.

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines must pay damages of up to about $A189,366 to victims’ families, regardless of the circumstances of a crash.

All 298 passengers and crew, including 27 Australian nationals, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight was hit, with a report from the Dutch Safety Board saying it was brought down by a Russian-built missile fired from an area where Russian separatists were operating.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said earlier this week – ahead of yesterday’s two-year anniversary of the disaster – that the federal government was committed to ensuring families received justice.

Eight Australian families, including lead applicant Perth woman Cassandra Gibson, whose mother Liliane Derden was among those killed on the plane, have filed a class action against Malaysia Airlines

“I am very aware of the poignancy of this date and the grief it will continue to bring for families of those who were killed in this incident, Ms Bishop told reporters.

“The Australian government will continue to do all we can to hold those responsible for this atrocity to account.”

The government was awaiting the findings of the joint investigation taskforce, of which Australia is one of five countries involved, Ms Bishop said.

“It has been thorough, it has been done with integrity and I look forward to reading the detail of it,” she said.

“We can then determine what steps, what action we can take in the interests of finding justice for those who were killed and for their families.”

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