Tony Abbott Vows Justice for MH17 Victims, Confirms Search for Human Remains to Continue Soon
By Reissa Su | August 13, 2014 9:59 AM EST
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed that the search for more remains of MH17 victims will resume in eastern Ukraine once conditions are safe. In a visit to Netherlands, Mr Abbott assured the victims' families that no Australian will be left in the MH17 crash site.
George and Angela Dyczynski walk near wreckage of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, during their visit to the crash site near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), in Donetsk region July 26, 2014. According to local media, the Perth-based couple's daughter Fatima was aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was brought down in eastern Ukraine, where separatists are battling government forces, on July 17.
Together with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Vutte, the Australian prime minister vowed to bring justice to the families of those aboard the downed Malaysia Airlines plane. The search for human remains was abandoned due to intense fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Mr Abbott said the dead and their grieving families deserve justice. He called the MH17 crash an act of "murder" when the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on July 17. Referring to his Dutch counterpart, he told reporters at a press conference in The Hague that they were partners in grief and the search for justice.
In a statement, Australian envoy Angus Houston and Mr Rutte previously announced that it was "impossible" for them to continue the search amid the worsening conflict in Ukraine. The Australian and Dutch teams have dodged bombs in an attempt to access the site.
The Dutch prime minister promised families they would return to the MH17 crash site. He explained the international experts had to leave because it was becoming too dangerous to remain any longer. Mr Rutte said the search for remains will continue at some time in the future.
Reports said pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine rebels have accused each other of shooting the surface-to-air missile that crashed Flight MH17. A Ukrainian official has revealed on July 28 that the Malaysian jet suffered a "massive explosive decompression" due to a rocket hit. The data was taken from the MH17's black box.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the act of shooting down a passenger aircraft is a "violation of international law" and declared every effort will be made to bring the perpetrators to justice no matter who they were. The UN had previously called the shooting down of MH17 as a "war crime."
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