Australia, Netherlands hold memorial service for MH17 victims

People take sunflowers during a commemoration ceremony in memory of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane crash on the fifth anniversary of the accident, at the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2019. — Reuters pic
People take sunflowers during a commemoration ceremony in memory of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plane crash on the fifth anniversary of the accident, at the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2019. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — The Australian High Commission and the Netherlands Embassy in Malaysia today held a commemoration ceremony to remember the victims of the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine five years ago.

Led by Australian High Commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski and Netherlands Ambassador Karin Mössenlechner, the attendees observed one minute of silence at 9.20pm, exactly five years after the tragedy.

Those in attendance included next of kin, ambassadors from other grieving nations as well as representatives of the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines.

Speaking to journalists, Goledzinowski said the high commission organised this event to remember the victims and show support for their next of kin.

“We can’t let the fifth anniversary to just happen today without doing anything. This event is purely for the victims and their next of kin,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking at the event, families expressed their appreciation to the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for their tireless work for the last five years.

“Without JIT we won’t be this far into this investigation. For that I would like to express sincere gratitude and appreciation towards the JIT and the parties involved for bringing justice for my mommy,” said Nur Diyana Yazeera, daughter of Chief Stewardess Dora Shahila Kassim.

About 50 next of kin attended the memorial service at the Australian High Commission here.

Flight MH17 was flying from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, about 40 kilometres from the Russian border, on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, including 15 crew members.

Passengers onboard MH17 were from Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines.

In the Netherlands on June 19 this year, Dutch-led international investigators charged four people — three Russians and one Ukranian — with murder over the tragedy.

However, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said Malaysia was unhappy with the latest report on the downing of flight MH17 and asked for proof, not just hearsay, in the investigation. — Bernama

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