Malcolm Turnbull has assured Australian families devastated by the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine that their government will never give up the search for the perpetrators nor be intimidated by Russia.
Mr Turnbull addressed the House of Representatives hours after Dutch authorities released their final report into the tragedy, which stated that the flight crashed as a result of the detonation of a BUK missile fired from eastern Ukraine.
He said that the “murder” of the 298 people on board was a cowardly crime.
“Those who committed this crime must answer for it,” he said.
Mr Turnbull used the Dutch Air Safety Board’s report into the crime that was released on Wednesday, which confirmed the airliner had been shot down using a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile, to state that Australia will stare-down resistance from the Kremlin.
“We, and all the nations whose citizens share our grief, are determined to do everything we can no matter how long it takes to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Australia ‘will not be bullied by Russia’
Mr Turnbull said Australia, led by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, would continue working with Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the Ukraine to seek justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines tragedy.
“We will not be bullied by Russia,” he said.
“We deplore the conduct of Russia using its Security Council veto in July to block the establishment of a special international criminal tribunal”. He pledged the joint investigation between Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine would continue “undaunted”.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says safety information should be shared
Meanwhile, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told media that more could have been done to ensure MH17 was on a safe flightpath.
Qantas had robust procedures in place to assess risks but security information needed to be accessible to all carriers, he said.
“I think what has been very clear is that the situation that happened over the Ukraine, I think more could have been done sharing information and intelligence to ensure that the operation of aircraft was safe over that path,” he said.
“If we believe that any air space had risks that were unacceptable and meant it wasn’t safe to fly through, Qantas would not be flying through them.
“But the information that we have, it is safe to do so.”