Friday, October 16, 2015

Flight MH17: Malaysia Seeks Prosecution

Mangled and twisted steel; debris of the ill fated flight MH17 greets visitors at the Gilze-Rijen military air base, a grimly sight that serves as the resting place of the aircraft remains where it was transported from downing site in a rebel-held area in eastern Ukraine.
All 298 people on board the flight with its crew members from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur perished on the 17th July 2014 with investigators from the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) suspecting it was of the result of the BUK missiles, throwing the Russians under the bus as the culprit.
Ukraine's president has consistently accused the Russia's military of ordering the missile strike that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 one year ago with Russia denying responsibility and in turn has pointed the finger at Ukraine, whose forces are fighting pro-Russian separatist rebels in the region. 
Both parties submitted their reports, the Dutch safety board and the maker of BUK missile systems, Almaz-Antey, release their separate reports on last year’s downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 chronologised and availed here
The Russian government were furore and challenged the finding that a BUK missile shot downed the plane as DSB has ignored nor invited BUK missile producer; Almaz-Antey to study the materials related to the crash. Subsequently analytic findings by Rosaviatsiya (Russia’s aviation authority) and submitted to the investigators were disregarded as well.

Spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said in a statement,“That is why serious doubts [exist over whether] ... the investigation conducted in the Netherlands was aimed at establishing the real causes of the plane crash, rather than justifying the previously-made accusations. We were barred from the investigation under various pretexts. And all of a sudden, Russia's cooperation became necessary after the Dutch Safety Board published the report with 'ready' conclusions,” she added.

The debacle has hindered efforts to seek closure of the tragedy, thus Malaysia recourse for prosecution with the independent international court for prevailing justice.

Media statement read by the Honorable Liow Tiong Lai on the 14th October as follows:
With today’s release of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) final report after months of meticulous and independent investigations, it clearly points to a 9N314M-model warhead carried on the 9M38-series of missiles, as installed on the Buk surface-to-air missile system as being the cause of the crash of MH17.
During this trying time, our thoughts and prayers are with the next of kin and loved ones of the passengers and crew onboard MH17. Malaysia stands with them.
Armed with the DSB report, Malaysia with the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) handling the criminal investigation is ever more resolute to seek justice. As part of the JIT, Malaysia remains single-minded in our pursuit of decisive action that will lead to prosecution of the trigger-happy criminals.
The international tribunal under the UN Security Council may have been vetoed but our fight for justice is far from over. Malaysia together with our JIT partners, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine and Australia are working towards adopting a treaty to establish an independent international court in order to have an effective prosecution mechanism for those responsible.
The thorough examination of the wreckage of flight MH17 by DSB determined that the damage was caused by a warhead that detonated outside and above the left hand side of the cockpit. The aeroplane was struck by a large number of small fragments with different shapes and sizes (cubic and bow-tie shapes) moving at high velocity. These are consistent with the warhead of a BUK surface-to-air missile system.
The DSB also excluded a number of possible causes based on stringent analysis before arriving at their conclusion. As part of their report, DSB concluded that the crew, airworthiness and flight plan, loading and cargo, and airspace restriction amongst others could be eliminated as the cause of the accident.
Malaysia would like to record our thanks to the DSB for its meticulous and transparent investigation that now enables us to move forward on more solid ground.
I have said many a times. The international community must stand united in the quest to make our skies safer.
We cannot delay implementing changes in the way global commercial aviation operates. There must be mandatory timely reporting of relevant information on flight risks to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) by member states and ICAO must establish global protocol to disseminate this information to member states and airlines.
It will make the difference between life and death.
Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai
MCA President
Minister of Transport

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