MH17 PRESS STATEMENT
BY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, MALAYSIA
IN KIEV, UKRAINE
SUNDAY, 20 JULY 2014
1. I arrived in Kiev today at 13.10 local time, accompanied by the Director-General of the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia and the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines.
2. Today, I met with the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, chair of the Ukrainian Special Government Commission on MH17. I also met with the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Maksym Burbak, and the Chairman of the Ukrainian State Aviation Administration Denys Antonyuk.
3. Later today, I will meet the Dutch Ambassador to the Ukraine, HE Kees Klompenhouwer.
4. A Malaysian team of 133 officials and experts, comprising of search and recovery personnel, forensics experts, technical and medical experts arrived in Kiev on Saturday morning local time.
5. A Joint International Investigation Team, which includes officials from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Britain’s AAIB and the United States’ NTSB, has been established.
6. The Ukrainian government has informed the Joint International Investigation Team that the crash site is under the full control of separatist groups.
7. The Ukrainian Government has stated that it has been unable to establish a safe corridor to the crash site for the international team. The Ukrainian Government has said it cannot guarantee the safety of the international team in and around the crash site.
8. This situation is further hampered by reports that a number of competing separatist groups control the area in and around the crash site, with no clear leader or chain of command.
9. The only international body that has so far managed to briefly access to the crash site is the OSCE.
10. Malaysia is deeply concerned that the international team is effectively being prevented from entering the crash site. It is imperative that international investigators and search and recovery personnel are afforded full and unhindered access to this site.
11. Malaysia demands that all human remains must be allowed to be recovered, identified and repatriated.
12. Regarding reports that separatist groups have custody of the black boxes, Malaysia insists that these crucial pieces of evidence are not tampered with and are handed over to the international team.
13. Despite reported comments by the leader of a separatist group that his group has not interfered with the crash site, Malaysia is very concerned that the sanctity of the crash site has been severely compromised.
14. Malaysia demands immediate and unrestricted access to the crash site and guaranteed safety for its officials and those of the international team.