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MALAYSIA’S participation as a full and equal member of the MH17 joint investigation team tasked with the criminal investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft is expected to result in the identification of the perpetrators of the heinous act, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the investigation was ongoing, with Malaysia jointly participating with the investigation teams from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine in the criminal and technical
investigation group.

“Our participation in the investigation is important and I am confident it can help the team find vital evidence to bring those responsible to justice,” he said after the Kojadi Institute convocation at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Last Monday, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had said in a statement that Malaysia had been accepted as a full and equal member of the joint investigation team that focused on the criminal investigation into the downing of the MAS aircraft.

It was conveyed by the Netherlands National Public Prosecutor’s Office in a letter dated Nov 28 to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

As part of the international criminal investigation process, Gani and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar left for The Hague last Wednesday to attend the third Eurojust Coordination Meeting on the criminal investigation, which was scheduled last Thursday.

Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down in Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to here on July 17, and all 298 passengers, including 44 Malaysians, died in the crash.

On the intention of families of victims to take legal action against Malaysia, Liow said the government was prepared for any possibility.

However, he said, his ministry had yet to receive any information on the matter.

“I just returned from Chongqing, China, and have yet to receive any information related to these cases (filing of suits), but Malaysia is prepared to face any charge in court,” he said in response to a news portal report in the Daily Mail of the United Kingdom last Wednesday, which quoted news.com.au as saying that family members of eight of the MH17 victims from Australia would sue Russia, Ukraine and Malaysia.

Aviation lawyer Jerry Skinner, who will represent the eight Australian families from New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, was quoted as saying that he was awaiting information before filing the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Skinner is known for his negotiation in a US$2.7 billion settlement (RM9.4 billion) for the 270 victims with Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. Bernama

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