BEIJING: Malaysia is committed to working with the MH17 joint investigation team (JIT) members to push for an independent international court to prosecute those responsible for the downing of the plane, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said the report by the Dutch Safety Board on the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) aircraft has confirmed that the shooting down of the Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, last year, was a criminal act.
“The technical investigations revealed that a BUK missile hit MH17. It is a criminal act and we need to find out who the culprits are,” said Liow, who is in the Chinese capital for the Asian Political Parties’ Special Conference on the Silk Road.
Although Malaysia’s United Nations resolution for an international criminal tribunal was vetoed by Russia in July, he said the JIT members, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine and Australia, would push for an independent court to handle the case.
In Malaysia, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Transport Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry will work together on achieving this goal.
“An international court is needed because our national court may not be able to extradite the culprits,” Liow said.
He said the criminal investigation team could now draw inferences from the Dutch Safety Board report.
Liow, who is also MCA president, took the opportunity to meet his Chinese counterpart, Yang Chuantang, in Beijing.
He said both sides renewed their commitment to continue with the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, where the Beijing-bound MAS plane is believed to have disappeared on March 8, last year.
“Malaysia, China and Australia – have agreed that the flaperon (discovered on Reunion Island in the ocean) is part of MH370.
“Experts have also decided that the search area is right,” he said, adding that China has promised full support for the search mission.
With Liow in Beijing, for the three-day conference, which began yesterday, is an MCA delegation that includes secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, vice-president Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung and treasurer-general Tan Sri Kuan Peng Soon.