Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and the Foreign Affair Minister Julie Bishop MP have welcomed the release of the Dutch Safety Board’s final aircraft accident investigation report.
Following a Dutch Safety Board report showing the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down with a Russian-made missile, Mr Turnbull told parliament on Wednesday “our prayers and love” are with the families of all the victims.
‘The report does not attribute responsibility for downing the plane. That is a question for the criminal investigation currently being conducted by authorities of the Joint Investigation Team which includes the Australian Federal Police.
The Dutch report said: ‘It cannot be ruled out that some occupants remained conscious for some time during the one to one-and-a-half minutes for which the crash lasted.’
This appeared to contradict earlier information given to relatives were told at a briefing in The Hague that their loved ones would have died very soon after the BUK missile exploded.
Dutch officials released the findings of their long-awaited investigation in front of a ghostly reconstruction of the forward section of the Boeing 777.
Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull message:
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims of the downing of Malaysia Airline Flight MH17,’ The Prime Minister said.
‘I know this is a particularly distressing time for those who lost loved ones on board MH17.
‘I received a briefing on the report from the Dutch Safety Board this evening via teleconference convened by Dutch Prime Minister Rutte.’
Minister Bishop said the report provided critical insights into the facts and circumstances surrounding the cause of the crash.
‘It determines the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, consistent with the Australian Government’s initial assessment of the incident,’ Minister Bishop said. ‘The 9M314M warhead was launched from a BUK surface-to-air missile launcher located within a 320 square kilometre area in Eastern Ukraine’.
‘The report does not attribute responsibility for the downing of the plane. That is a question for the criminal investigation currently being conducted by authorities of the Joint Investigation Team which includes the Australian Federal Police.’
We, and other partner governments of the Joint Investigation Team, remain absolutely committed to seeing justice done, following Russia’s disappointing veto of the widely supported proposal for a UN Security Council mandated international tribunal.