Investigations into downed MAS flight MH17 extended to Aug 2015

Investigations into downed MAS flight MH17 extended to Aug 2015
A teddy bear is placed next to wreckage at the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine September 9, 2014.

PETALING JAYA - Investigations into downed Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 have been extended to Aug 2015.

"Member countries of the joint investigation team (JIT) into the downing of MH17 in July have agreed to extend the investigation for another nine months," said Australia's Justice Minister Michael Keenan in a statement, Thursday.

He added that the JIT comprised of The Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and other countries.

Keenan said that while the countries had agreed to extend the investigation period, Australia was "determined" to work as long as was required until those responsible were brought to justice.

Adding that Australia was committed to returning to the crash site, Keenan said that the plane, which crashed near Grabovo in eastern Ukraine was still not secure.

"Any Australian Government decision to return to the site will be a joint decision with our JIT counterparts if and when it is safe to do so," he said.

Keenan also said that high-level meetings on the matter were held in the Ukraine this week with heads of state there. MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board, including 43 Malaysians.

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