Ukraine crash less like accident than crime: Australia PM

Breaking News July 18, 2014 00:00

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SYDNEY - The Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine looked less like an accident than a crime, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday, as he urged Russia to cooperate with an investigation into the incident.

The airliner carrying 298 people came down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Thursday, and US officials said it appeared to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

Abbott said he owed it to the families of those onboard, including 27 Australians, to find out exactly what happened to the plane which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

"As things stand, this looks less like an accident than a crime," he told parliament.

"And if so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice," he added to cries of"hear, hear".

Abbott said Australia would as quickly as possible work for a binding resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for a full and impartial investigation.

This would require full access to the site, the debris, the black box and "all individuals who might be in a position to shed light on this terrible event",he said.

"The minister for foreign affairs will shortly summon the Russian ambassador to seek a categoric assurance from the ambassador that the Russian government will fully cooperate in this investigation," he said.


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