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MH17: After Inteligence Report, Next Phase To Assemble Physical Evidence

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PUTRAJAYA – After having a “pretty conclusive” intelligence report, Malaysia as well as the international investigation teams are now pushing for efforts to assemble physical evidence in relation to the downing of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 in Ukraine.

In view of this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the teams were keen to re-enter the crash site in eastern Ukraine before the winter season.

“As you know, we are doing our level best. We do have the intelligence reports as to what happened to flight MH17 and the report turned out to be pretty conclusive.

“What we do next is to assemble physical evidence, evidence that can be brought to court when the time comes so that it can be proven beyond any doubt that the plane had been shot down by heavy missile and this has to be proven in the court law,” he said.

Najib said this during the question-and-answer session of the joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott held in conjunction with the latter’s one-day official visit to Malaysia, here today.

Flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft was believed to have been shot down over the troubled country.

Najib said Malaysia, together with international partners like Australlia and Netherlands, needed at least a few weeks to comb the entire pretty-wide crash site, not only to search for body parts, but also to assemble physical evidence.

Once the physical evidence assembling process was completed, Najib said the next stage was to look into the criminal side of the incident to find out who was responsible on the atrocious crime.

“I view this to be a challenging task because getting evidence in the conflict area presents a host of serious problems but we will endeavor to find the truth and to bring those responsible (for the tragedy) to justice,” he said.

In his remarks at the joint press conference, Najib said that Malaysia demanded a full, independent and transparent international investigation into the incident in accordance with relevant international convention with the sole objective to bring justice for those involved.

Najib said he and Abbott also resolved to intensify efforts and to continue to work closely together with other international partners to ensure that the remaining victims would be reunited with their families soon.

He said he had highligted to Abbott that it was important for Malaysia and Australia to work together in the follow up process of recovering other remains of the MH17 victims, investigating the air crash as well as ensuring criminal investigation.

Najib said Malaysia also offered its deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the next-of-kins and families and loved ones of the 27 Australian citizens who had lost their lives in the tragedy.

“As Malaysians, we fully feel the deep pain and grief they are undergoing,” he said. – BERNAMA

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