SYDNEY: Australia urged the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to support the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing Malaysia Airlines [MLYAF.PK] jet MH17 in eastern Ukraine last year.
Malaysia, part of the 15-member council until 2016, distributed a draft resolution on the tribunal last week, which it hoped could be adopted later this month. It is a joint proposal with Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ukraine.
However, the move has been dismissed by Russia, which is a veto-wielding permanent member on the 15-member council, along with France, Britain, China and the United States. Russia has the option of blocking the proposal if it is put to a vote.
"The establishment of an international criminal tribunal ... would send a clear message that the international community will not tolerate acts that threaten international peace and security by endangering civil aviation," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
"A tribunal established by the Council would ensure broad international support for prosecutions and would maximise the prospects of securing international cooperation, which will be