As a horrified world looks on the tragedy that continues in Ukraine over the handling of the remains of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, questions of liability surface. Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, was interviewed today (Saturday, July 19, 2014) by Washington Post reporter Roberto Ferdman on a story about the questions of liability in countries under conflict. (“Liability in Flight 17 Crash Could Reach $1 Billion.”) The story was picked up by Associated Press and distributed around the world including to the Chicago Tribune. Although various international treaties and conventions will play a role in the amount of money a family can recover for the loss of a loved one, experts are saying that Malaysia Airlines reinsurer ultimately may be held responsible. Clifford, however, added that “‘there will be a case filed by New York, Netherlands, and other countries, against either Ukraine or Russia.'” Clifford acknowledged the difficulties in recovering from those countries. Just this past week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York cleared the way for the largest single recovery of sovereign assets by victims of state-sponsored terrorism to date by freezing nearly $2 billion, held in frozen New York bank accounts, to be handed over to claimants who sued Iran over its role in multiple acts of terrorism. The underlying case, Peterson v. Iran, was filed on behalf of 812 victims or victims’ relatives who suffered as a result of a 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut. Under New York law, judgment creditors have a right to require a bank to freeze assets pending a court evaluation of their claims. In the Peterson v. Iran case, the court found that the international securities intermediary, Clearstream Banking S.A., was actually owned by Iran’s state-run Bank Markazi. Last year, the court had the money placed in a trust pending appeals from the defendants. Clearstream settled but Iran has appealed. That case may provide precedent for the claims of those who lost loved ones in the unfortunate tragedy involving the intentional terrorist downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.