Malaysian PM: Swift justice for those responsible if plane was shot down

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​Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, reading out a statement at a news conference demanded swift justice for those responsible if the Malaysian airliner was found to have been shot down.

MH17 crashed after it was shot down over eastern Ukraine by militants on Thursday, killing all 295 people onboard.

The key points:

What caused the crash?

Najib said Malaysia had not been able to independently verify what caused MH17 to crash while on a flight from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. 

"The Ukranian authorities believe that the plane was shot down," Najib acknowledged.

 "But we must, and we will, find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned,” he added.

“If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.”

Any distress call?

Najib said: "Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft did not make a distress call."

Why was the plane flying over an active war zone?

"The aircraft's flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. And the International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions," said Najib.

What next?

Najib said that Malaysia was sending a special flight to Kiev with a disaster assistance and rescue team. "An international team must have full access to the crash site and no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box," he said.

He also said that he had agreed in talks with US President Barack Obama that investigators must get full access to the site of the crash. “The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down,” Najib said in the statement.

Tragic year

Referring to MH370, which is still missing after it disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, Najib said: "This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia."

Photos: Xinhua, AFP

Sources: Reuters, The Malaysian Insider

MH17europeRussiakuala lumpurNajib Razakmalaysia airlines