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MH17: Flight Safety Foundation backs independent probe

Representatives of the US-based Flight Safety Foundation are urging the creation of an independent international panel to investigate the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The foundation argues that such a move would address Russian claims of unfair bias by the five-nation joint investigation team probing the Boeing 777’s destruction.

These five nations – the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia and Belgium – have been undertaking a criminal and judicial inquiry into the July 2014 crash in Ukraine.

The inquiry believes it has proven that the missile was carried on a transporter brought into Ukraine from Russia and fired from pro-Russian rebel-held territory, and detailed its case on 28 September.

But Russian officials claim the inquiry is politically motivated, highlighting that Ukraine was involved in the probe while Russia was effectively excluded.

The Flight Safety Foundation says that, while it normally opposes the criminalisation of “honest mistakes” in aviation, the circumstances surrounding the loss of MH17 are pointing to a “premeditated act”.

“We urge all states to co-operate fully in this investigation,” says its chief, Jon Beatty, adding that a United Nations Security Council resolution to convene an independent panel would address Russian claims of bias and assist with obtaining further evidence relating to the probe.

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