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Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Malaysia offers "unqualified" support to Ukraine in probe

Published on Jul 18, 2014 4:34 PM
Malaysia's newly appointed Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai leaves the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on July 18, 2014. Ukraine is responsible for the investigations of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, said Mr Liow as Kuala Lumpur offered unqualified support. -- PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Ukraine is responsible for the investigations of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, said Malaysia's Transport Minister as Kuala Lumpur offered unqualified support.

Mr Liow Tiong Lai told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Friday that if the plane was indeed shot down as speculated, the action would have gone against international laws and human rights.

"Malaysia reiterates its condemnation of attacks on civilians," Mr Liow said.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam with 298 people on board on Thursday night when it crashed over eastern Ukraine.

There were no survivors from the crash, which left wreckage and bodies scattered across miles of rebel-held territory.

Those on board included 154 Dutch nationals, 45 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 9 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 Filipinos and 1 Canadian. The nationalities of the rest could not be unverified.

Mr Liow said Malaysia Airlines is sending 40 personnel to Amsterdam to help the families of the passengers.

He added that the plane was taking a route approved by the civil aviation authorities and that the flight path was unrestricted.

There was no last minute instruction given to the pilot of MH17 to change its route, Mr Liow said.

Mr Liow dismissed suggestions that Malaysia Airlines was trying to save costs by taking a shorter route.

When asked if the plane's blackbox has been found, Mr Liow said he could not confirm it.

Thursday's crash came four months after another Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared mysteriously on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard.