Malaysia is concerned about the security and integrity of the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines MH17 crashed on 17 July.
“Malaysia is deeply concerned that the crash site has not been properly secured,” says Transport minster Liow Tiong Lai. “The integrity of the site has been compromised, and there are indications that vital evidence has not been preserved in place.”
He was speaking at a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur on 19 July, shortly before he planned to fly out to Kiev to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart to assist with the situation.
Malaysia has has sent a team of medical and air safety investigation specialists to Kiev, but it has not been able to access the crash site, Liow says. He added that Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has talked to a number of world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin, asking for assistance to ensure a safe path for investigators to enter the site.
“They are trying their level best to assist Malaysia to ensure that they have access to the site,” Liow says.
He was unable to shed further light on reports that the flight data and cockpit voice recorders have been recovered, noting that there needed to be "counter-checking" of those claims. Some reports claim that the recorders were recovered by rebel forces and may have been sent to Moscow.
Flight MH17, operated by a Boeing 777-200ER, appears to have been shot down while transiting airspace over eastern Ukraine while enroute from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 passengers and crew on board perished in the crash.