NEW YORK: Countries whose investigation authorities cooperate in the criminal investigation into the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash are forging ahead in their quest to bring those behind the tragedy to book.
Their foreign ministers met in New York on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing efforts to establish justice with regard to the downing of the Boeing 777 on July 17, 2014 that killed 298 people on board the aircraft.
Malaysia was represented at the meeting, held in the margins of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, who joined his counterparts from Australia, Belgium, Ukraine and the Netherlands.
“The countries remain fully committed to taking effective measures to hold those responsible to account.
“There must be justice for the families and loved ones of those killed on MH17,” they said in a joint statement issued after the meeting.
It was made available by the Malaysian foreign ministry (Wisma Putra).
It said the ministers reiterated their strong support for the international and independent investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team, which will present its interim results on Sept 28.
“The ministers also discussed the progress made with regard to a prosecution mechanism, given the veto in the United Nations (UN) Security Council in July 2015 for a United Nations tribunal,” it said.
Russia had used its veto at the UN to block a draft resolution to set up an international tribunal into the MH17 disaster.
It was reported that it was the only nation at the 15-member UN Security Council to oppose the move.
The Malaysian aircraft was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian rebels in the area have denied shooting down the plane.
At the New York meeting, the ministers recalled the demand by the Security Council, in Resolution 2166, and the determination of their own governments, that those responsible for the downing be held accountable.
They further recalled the Security Council’s demand that all states cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability.