Clive Palmer wants Australian Federal Police recalled from the operation to retrieve the remains of victims of the MH17 disaster, saying the risk is too great.
“I just don’t think it’s realistic to have a lot of people who are alive worrying about recovering remains that’s going to put anyone’s life in danger,” the Palmer United Party leader told ABC radio on Friday.
“I don’t believe, that if it was my family I’d want to see other Australians killed just to recover remains, to be honest with you, and I don’t think any of the families would want to put other families’ husbands and wives at risk.”
Mr Palmer spoke to the ABC before a small team of Dutch and Australian police, accompanied by international monitors, reached the site in rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Days of fierce fighting between government forces and rebels had stopped them reaching the area, two weeks after the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down killing all 298 people including 38 Australians aboard.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday said he remained optimistic about recovering all of the victims’ remains.
Analysts says insurgents likely shot down the plane with a missile on July 17 but Russia and the rebels say it could have been blown out of sky by a Ukrainian jet.