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Criminal findings expected against MH17 perpetrators

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Findings of a forensic criminal investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, will help “bring justice” to those responsible for the atrocity, Malaysia’s transport minister has said.

The Boeing 777 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile, the Dutch Safety Board concluded last year in its final report on the crash that killed all 298 people on board, including 38 Australian citizens.

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A Russian-made Buk missile was found to have struck the plane. Photo: AAP

Ahead of Sunday’s two-year anniversary of the tragedy, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement that he expected the criminal investigation’s preliminary conclusions to become available later this year.

“With the joint investigation team’s criminal investigation ongoing, we hope to receive the preliminary conclusions on the forensic research conducted, including on the type of weapon that was used and other pertinent details, by the later part of this year,” the minister said.

He said the investigation team, comprising representatives from Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine, remained “committed and determined in our pursuit to bring justice” to those responsible.

‘The perpetrators must be held responsible’

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop echoed the comments of the Malaysian transport minister, when she said the Australian government was committed to making sure victims of the MH17 disaster receive justice.

Julie Bishop
Ms Bishop says the taskforce’s report will be “thorough”. Photo: Getty

Her comments came as eight Australian families filed a class action with the Federal Court of Australia seeking compensation from Malaysia Airlines for the death of their loved ones.

The lead applicant in the case is Perth woman Cassandra Gibson, whose mother Liliane Derden was among those killed on the plane.

“I am very aware of the poignancy of this date and the grief it will continue to bring for families of those who were killed in this incident,” Ms Bishop told reporters.

“The Australian government will continue to do all we can to hold those responsible for this atrocity to account.”

The government was awaiting the findings of the joint investigation taskforce, of which Australia is one of five countries involved, Ms Bishop said.

“It has been thorough, it has been done with integrity and I look forward to reading the detail of it.”

“We can then determine what steps, what action we can take in the interests of finding justice for those who were killed and for their families.”

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