Ukraine must ensure MH17 crash site is undisturbed: Transport minister

SEPANG - The government of the Ukraine must ensure the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 remains undisturbed as it is the investigating authority, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow, who was asked about this at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel here on Friday added that if the black boxes were found, the government of the Ukraine must ensure that it remains well preserved.

"I have stressed that the crash site must remain undisturbed and if we find the black box, the Ukraine authorities as the investigating authority must ensure that it remains well-preserved. We are confident an independent committee will be set up and the Ukraine authorities have agreed to ensure that follow-up investigations will begin immediately," said Liow.

He said that an international independent investigation team is being set up to ensure the investigation will be conducted properly.

Liow also said Malaysia, which has been invited to take part in the investigation, will be sending two experts.

On the crash investigation, Liow said that he had been informed by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who he said was speaking to his counterpart in the government of the Ukraine.

"I have been informed by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman that he has contacted his counterpart in the Ukraine and the Ukraine government has set up a commission to ensure the independence of the investigation, and that the investigation will be done well, involving international members," said Liow.

He added that the Ukraine authorities have given their assurance that they will safeguard the corridor into the area and are negotiating with the rebels to ensure that the site is intact and that all records will be protected.

MH17 disappeared from radar screens in eastern Ukraine at around 1415 GMT on Thursday, hours after the Boeing 777, bound for Kuala Lumpur, had taken off from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

It is believed to have been shot down 50km from the Ukraine-Russia border.

All 298 passengers and crew on board, including 43 Malaysians, are believed to have perished. The area is currently being held by pro-Russian separatists.

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