PUTRAJAYA, Sept 29 – Malaysia remains single-minded in its pursuit to prosecute those who are responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 through appropriate effective prosecution mechanism, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
He said the interim report released by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for MH17, which Malaysia is part of it, last Wednesday, confirmed the earlier technical report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) that the aircraft was undeniably hit by a surface-to-air 9M38 series BUK missile.
He said the report also concluded that the exact location of the launch site was an agricultural field near Pervomaiskiy, a city in Kharkiv, Ukraine – an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels at that time. Liow stressed the finding was consistent with the DSB report based on materials obtained from the United States and the European Space Agency.
“Armed with both the JIT and DSB reports, Malaysia is ever more resolute to seek justice,” he said in a statement today, adding that while the report could not determine the perpetrators responsible for the tragic incident, but the JIT had identified the identity of about 100 individuals that could be linked to the downing of MH17.
Liow said Malaysia, together with the JIT partners, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine and Australia, had never wavered from their fight to seek justice. He said Malaysia would like to record the gratitude to their colleagues in JIT for its detailed and transparent investigation that now enables them to move forward on a more solid ground.
Malaysia, he said, also lauded the announcement that the JIT agreement would be extended until January 2018 to enable investigation to continue unabated. He said during this trying time, their thoughts and prayers are with the next of kin and loved ones of the passengers and crew onboard MH17. MH17 with 298 passengers and crew onboard was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 when travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Liow reiterated that the international community must stand united in the quest to make the skies safer. He said there must be mandatory timely reporting of relevant information on risks flying in conflict zones to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) by member states and the ICAO must establish global protocol to disseminate the information to member states and airlines. He said this is not optional while it will save lives. — Bernama