Omagh bombing lawyer plans to sue Vladimir Putin over shot down Malaysian Airlines passenger jet
The lawyer who took the Omagh bomb case into the civil courts is planning legal action against Vladimir Putin for his alleged role in the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet.
Jason McCue, senior partner of McCue & Partners in London, launched the world's first ever civil proceedings against members of a terrorist organisation, namely the Real IRA, on behalf of the families of those killed in the 1998 Omagh bomb.
The victims' families were awarded £1.6m damages after the civil case found Michael McKevitt, Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly liable for the bombing which killed 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins.
Now McCue & Partners is preparing a multi-million pound legal action against the Russian president through the American courts for the shooting down of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.
Russian-backed rebels have been blamed for bringing down the Boeing 777, killing all 298 people on board, having mistaken it for a Ukranian military aircraft.
It is understood that lawyers from the London law firm last week flew to Ukraine for discussions about how to bring the case. Victims' families will be invited to join the action.
A spokesman for McCue & Partners said in a statement: "There has been talk of civil suits against Malaysian Airlines, but those immediately responsible are not only the separatists who are alleged to have fired the rocket at Flight MH17, causing the death of hundreds of innocent victims, but those, be they states, individuals or other entities, who provided them with financial and material support and the means to do so.
"Our team is presently liaising and working with partners in Ukraine and the US on whether, apart from civil suits against the airline, legal action can be brought against the perpetrators on the victims' behalf."
The case against Mr Putin could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds in potential damages.
The action is likely to be brought through the US courts. If held liable, assets of Mr Putin could be frozen.
Mr McCue is well-known for his pursuit of terrorists and rogue regimes through the civil and criminal courts and for the tracing and recovery of their assets.
In 2002 he personally served High Court writs on the men who were eventually found responsible for the Omagh bombing following a successful civil case in June 2009 – the first of its kind in the world.
McCue & Partners have also previously brought claims in the US courts against the former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for sponsoring IRA terrorism in Northern Ireland and in Britain.
Gaddafi funded and armed the IRA from the mid-eighties onwards, supplying the terrorists with the Semtex plastic explosive which was used in a series of atrocities.
This year there were calls for Gaddafi's frozen assets to be used to pay out to victims.
Jason McCue is senior partner of London law firm McCue & Partners. He is well-known for his pursuit of terrorists and rogue regimes through the civil and criminal courts and for the tracing and recovery of their assets.
He launched and won a civil case against four men accused of the Omagh bomb on behalf of their victims' families – this was the world's first ever civil proceedings against members of a terrorist organisation, namely the Real IRA.