If the court adjudicated that they didn't shoot the MH17 plane on purpose (they thought, mistakenly, that it was a Ukrainian military aircraft), why did it find the defendants guilty of murder as opposed to something else (negligent homicide or whatever)?
If the court adjudicated that they didn't shoot the MH17 plane on purpose (they thought, mistakenly, that it was a Ukrainian military aircraft)
The court did assume it was done on purpose.
2022-11-17: BBC News - MH17: Three guilty as court finds Russia-controlled group downed airliner:
The judges ruled that it was a deliberate action to bring down a plane, even though the three found guilty had intended to shoot down a military not a civilian aircraft.
Had the 'armed group under Russian control' consulted the Russian air traffic control (where the plane would haven entered a few minutes later), they would have learned that the plane was expected and what type of plane it was.
But they did not and thus are responsible for their action for the shooting down of what was not a legitimate military target.
So if someone throws a stone in the air, for example, and then it lands on someone's head and kills them, it would be murder, wouldn't it?
The intent to kill is a condition for murder. Your rock sample shows no intent.
In the case (as the jugement states), the intent to bring down the plane (killing those on bord) exists.
Because the 'armed group under Russian control' didn't check if it was a legitimate military target (by checking with Russian air traffic control), they are in violation of Article 3 (1) (a) of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (2nd part) | OHCHR
In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
- Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;