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MH17 black boxes in hands of M'sia team

Pro-Russia separatists handed the black boxes from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over to the Malaysian investigation team in Ukraine earlier on Tuesday.

The handover ceremony took place just hours after an announcement by Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak that an agreement had been reached with Mr Alexander Borodai, the self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the Donetsk People's Republic.

Mr Najib said shortly after midnight on Tuesday that "at approximately 9pm tonight Ukraine time (2am Singapore time), the two black boxes will be handed over to a Malaysian team in Donetsk, who will take custody of them".

 

 

A Malaysian expert examining one of the black boxes during the handover ceremony.

A pro-Russian separatist (front left) exchanging signed documents on the handing over of the black boxes with Colonel Mohamed Sakri (front right) of the Malaysian National Security Council.

Ukrainian separatist leader Aleksander Borodai (centre) speaking during the handover ceremony.

Mr Najib also said during the press conference that "the remains of 282 people, currently in Torez, will be moved by train to Kharkiv, where they will be handed over to representatives from the Netherlands".

"The train will depart this evening Ukraine time, and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team. The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team."

"Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia," he said.

He added: "There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given their co-operation."

Meanwhile, a photo of a man in army fatigues holding a ring has been circulating online. Social media users claim the man is a pro-Russian separatist and that he is looting the ring from a victim of the MH17 crash.

Many have expressed outrage and disgust at what is supposedly taking place.

The photo is actually a still image from a video available here. We have highlighted the supposed theft in action below.

Contrary to popular belief, the man seemed to put the ring back in the box he found it in.

The video is of a group of people clearing up an area.

The militia leader who shot the film reportedly told BBC: "We looked at their belongings because we were searching for documents. Then we put them in a truck and took them away for sorting."

The looting claim follows an accusation by Ukraine on Saturday that pro-Russian insurgents were destroying evidence at the crash site.

It issued a statement declaring that the “terrorists with the support of Russia are trying to destroy proof of this international crime”.

BBC reported that local miners who volunteered to comb the area and move the bodies were unsure of what to do with personal belongings.

In a clip available here, a local is seen passing a wallet to BBC reporter Natalia Antelava and asking who it should be given to. He then tells her to pass it on.

Russia and Ukraine have been trading accusations since the plane went down in Ukraine on Thursday. Neither country has claimed responsibility for the disaster.

Sources: AFP, Mail Online

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