Chinese court to consider compensation for people on missing Malaysia Airlines flight, relative says

A Chinese court will hold hearings on claims for compensation for the Chinese relatives of people who died on a Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared in 2014 on a flight to Beijing, a representative of the families said Friday.

Jiang Hui, whose mother was on flight MH370, wrote on his Weibo social media account that he had received a notice that court hearings would begin Nov. 27. The hearings are expected to continue until mid-December, Jiang said.

“I hope China’s laws can bring justice to the families who have not received a penny of compensation or an apology in the past 10 years,” Jiang wrote. “The disappearance of 239 lives, including 154 Chinese people, is a shame.”

After almost a decade, the fate of the plane and its passengers remains a mystery. Various theories have emerged, but scant evidence has been found to show why the plane diverted from its original route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane is believed to have plunged into the Southern Ocean south of India.

Given the continuing mystery surrounding the case, it remains unclear what financial obligations the airline may have and no charges have been brought against the flight crew. However, relatives say they wish for some compensation for a disaster that deprived them of their loved ones and placed them in financial difficulty.

China’s largely opaque legal system offers wide latitude for judges to issue legal or financial penalties when criminal penalties cannot be brought.

The case is expected to be heard in Beijing’s main Chaoyang District Intermediary Court, according to online postings, but no information was immediately available on the court’s website.

Similar cases brought in the U.S. against the airline, its holding company and insurer have been dismissed on the basis that such matters should be handled by the Malaysian legal system. MDT/AP

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