Malaysia has secured an agreement with Ukrainian separatists, who control the area around the MH17 crash site, to allow a group of international police personnel to enter the area in order to provide protection for international crash investigators.
Pursuant to the earlier agreement between Prime Minister Najib Razak and Alexander Borodai, leader of the separatist forces, Mr Borodai today agreed to allow a deployment of international police personnel to enter the crash site.
Prime Minister Najib has today spoken to the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Australia, and the three grieving countries have agreed to work closely together in deploying police personnel.
68 Malaysian police personnel will leave Kuala Lumpur for the crash site on Wednesday as part of the international deployment.
Under the original three point agreement brokered between Prime Minister Najib and Mr Borodai last week, the Ukrainian separatists agreed to:
transfer the black boxes to Malaysia;
handover the human remains to international officials;
and grant full access to the crash site for international investigators.
So far, international air crash investigators have been unable to properly deploy across the vast crash site in eastern Ukraine and collect evidence due to ongoing security concerns, including continued military activity. Malaysia calls for an immediate cessation of all military activities in and around the crash site.
Malaysia is concerned that these security concerns are preventing full and unfettered access to the site, and therefore a proper, independent investigation from being carried out. Moreover, Malaysia is particularly concerned that some human remains may still be at the crash site.
Malaysian officials are discussing the details of the police deployment with the Netherlands and Australia. Malaysian Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman, has been speaking to his international counterparts and officials from the Ukrainian government on the legal and diplomatic framework for the deployment.
Malaysian Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai, has been leading on the MH17 investigation, working closely with the head of the investigation in the Netherlands.
SPEAKING EARLIER TODAY, PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK SAID:
“I am deeply concerned that international investigators have been unable to properly deploy to the crash site because of the volatile security situation. It is imperative that we deploy a full team of investigators to ensure that all the human remains are removed from the site, identified and repatriated. Everyone who was on board MH17 must be afforded proper dignity and respect.
“We also need a full deployment of investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site so we can understand precisely what happened to MH17. I hope that this agreement with Mr Borodai will ensure security on the ground, so the international investigators can conduct their work.
“Three grieving nations have formed a coalition to secure the site. Through our joint deployment of police personnel, the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia will work together to achieve justice for the victims.”