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Malaysia prosecutors and foreign ministry looking into seeking justice for MH17 victims

Published on Aug 17, 2014 6:12 PM
Debris from the crashed Malaysian Airlines MH17 Boeing 777 lies on the ground near the village of Rozsypne in the Donetsk region in Ukraine in this July 18, 2014 file photo. Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Aug 17 that the country's Attorney-General's Chambers and foreign ministry were currently looking at ways to seek legal justice for the families of MH17 victims. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TAPAH, PERAK (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): Malaysia's Attorney-General's Chambers and foreign ministry are currently looking at ways to seek legal justice for the families of MH17 victims, defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Sunday.

"The Attorney-General is looking into the matter in depth while Wisma Putra is looking into the international aspect," said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin.

"We will not sit quietly and we will seek justice for those on MH17," he told journalists after opening the annual general meeting of the Tapah division of Umno, the ruling United Malays National Organisation.

"It doesn't matter which court we have to go, be it in Malaysia, Ukraine or at the International Court of Justice," Mr Hishammuddin added.

Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines was shot down over Ukraine on July 17 while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people onboard, including 43 Malaysians, perished in the crash.

The West has accused Ukrainian separatists of shooting down the plane using a missile system which the United States believes was supplied by Russia amid months of fighting with Ukrainian government forces. Both Russia and the rebels blame Ukrainian forces for the crash.

Mr Hishammuddin said the priority now was to get the bodies of the deceased safely back to Malaysia and their respective homes. The government had announced that 16 bodies from MH17 will arrive from the Netherlands on Aug 22, as Malaysia observes a national day of mourning.

Mr Hishammuddin also assured families of those on board MH370, another Malaysia Airlines flight which disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, that search operations for the victims were not forgotten.

"Even with our attention are currently on MH17, the search operations are ongoing. We are working closely with the Chinese and the Australian Governments," he said.

In his speech earlier on Sunday, Mr Hishammuddin urged party members not to be swayed by the opposition in their support towards the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance, which is led by Umno.

He said members must continue to have belief in the party leadership and also towards the government.

"Today's political landscape has changed. It has leaned towards political hatred, demonisation and personal attacks on social media," he said.

"We must have patience, courage and also wisdom," he added.