Rebels to Hand over Corpses & Black Boxes while Australia Blames Russia for MH17

By @snksounak on
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region July 20, 2014. Ukraine Reuters

Pro-Russian rebels took control of the crash site after shooting down Malaysian Airlines jet MH17. One of the first things they did was to take the black boxes in their custody. However, they have decided to hand those over for investigation. The International Civil Aviation Organization will be given the black boxes for further inspection.

Meanwhile, Australia has expressed its fears that Russia might not allow the "dignified treatment" of the deceased passengers of the flight which also had 36 Australians among the dead. Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that Russia would not be able to "wash its hands" of what happened. According to Abbott, Russia might "say the right thing" to allow rebels in the crash site to indulge in "outrageous" interference in several aspects of the investigation.

Abbott also confirmed that he had a talk with the Russian trade minister and told him that Russia could not shy away from its responsibilities. The Australian PM said that the shoot-down was done by pro-Russian rebels using weapons which were possibly supplied by the country itself. Moreover, the accident took place in a territory controlled by Russia as well. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko earlier asked Australia to be a part of the investigation process of the plane-crash which eventually killed 298 people.

Alexander Borodai, in the meantime, said that the corpses would be preserved in refrigerated cars. The rebel leader said that the bodies would remain in the town of Torez until a delegation from the ICAO arrived. The pro-Russian rebels, as well as Ukrainian authorities, have denied taking the responsibility of the shoot-down. The deceased people included 15 crew and 283 passengers.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, the separatists have interfered with the body-recovery process. Emergency workers were apparently forced to hand over 196 corpses to them without informing what they were going to do with those. Even though Ukraine still expected to receive the bodies later on, the rebels clarified on Sunday July 20 that they would only hand those over the aviation experts.

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