Returning to MH17 crash site remains priority: Hishammuddin

Dutch and Australian forensic experts continue recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Dutch and Australian forensic experts continue recovery work at the site of the downed Malaysian airliner MH17 near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region on Aug 4, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEPANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Returning to the MH17 crash site remains a priority for the Malaysian government which is committed to seeking justice for victims, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

"We need to do all we can to access the location to facilitate criminal investigations into the tragedy," he said on Tuesday.

However, he pointed out that the site in eastern Ukraine was still a war zone.

"It will be a miracle if we are successful because of the ongoing geopolitical conflict but we have done the impossible before," he said after a ceremony to honour nine more MH17 victims whose remains arrived back from Amsterdam.

He said what they needed is for those involved to agree to a ceasefire at that location to allow for investigators to work.

Hishammuddin added there has been some closure for the families of victims, whose remains had been brought back but 11 Malaysians are still missing or have yet to be identified.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said some of the remains could still be at the crash site.

"That's also why we need to return to the location to find as many of the remains as possible," he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were also at the ceremony at Bunga Raya Complex at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Tuesday.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board, including 43 Malaysians.