MH17 air disaster
Elmar Giemulla is requesting 1 million euros for each life lost on board on MH17 Reuters

A specialist in aviation law, representing three German families of victims of downed airliner MH17, has said that under international law Ukraine should have closed its air space if the safety of international flights was not guaranteed.

Aviation law professor Giemulla planned to hand his case to the European Court of Human Rights in about two weeks, accusing Ukraine and its President Petro Poroshenko of manslaughter by negligence in 298 cases. He would also push for compensation of up to €1m ($1.3 million) per victim, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Giemulla will be presenting his case to the European Court of Human Rights in two weeks.

"Each state is responsible for the security of its air space," Giemulla told Reuters. "If it is not able to do so temporarily, it must close its air space. As that did not happen, Ukraine is liable for the damage."

By not shutting off its airspace Ukraine had accepted that lives of hundreds of innocent people would be "annihilated", which was a violation of human rights, he stated.

Four Germans were among the 298 passengers which were killed in July. Two-thirds of passengers came from the Netherlands.

Ukraine and the West blame pro-Russian separatists for shooting the plane down with a SA-11 Buk Russian-made missile, claims which Russia denies.

Malaysia Airlines has so far offered to pay families of victims $5,000.