Footage con­firms in­tent, says PM

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LANAI SCARR

TONY Ab­bott says new vi­sion se­cured by News Corp Aus­tralia of the MH17 crash site shows the “enor­mity” of the tragedy and high­lights it was not an ac­ci­dent.

The Prime Min­is­ter was one of a num­ber of politi­cians and peo­ple close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to yesterday re­act to the footage, which the Rus­sians quickly dis­missed as “mis­in­ter­preted” and “no proof the plane was shot down”.

The video, shot within two hours of the down­ing of the Malaysian Air­lines plane, showed Rus­sian- backed rebels search­ing for a Ukrainian air force jet they thought they had just shot down us­ing a groundto- air mis­sile sys­tem.

The film records their dis­may as they min­utes later dis­cover the air­craft is a com­mer­cial air­liner.

They then pro­ceed to ran­sack the bags of the vic­tims, in­clud­ing Aus­tralians.

Mr Ab­bott said the new footage high­lighted the enor­mity of what hap­pened.

“It high­lights the fact that this was an atroc­ity, it was in no way an ac­ci­dent,” the Prime Min­is­ter told ABC News 24.

“They may not have known that they were shoot­ing down a civil­ian pas­sen­ger plane, but they were de­lib­er­ately shoot- ing out of the sky what they knew was a large air­craft. There was a reck­less in­dif­fer­ence, if you like, to where that mis­sile was go­ing and plainly rebels don’t get hold of this kind of weaponry by ac­ci­dent.”

A spokesman for the Rus­sian Am­bas­sador to Aus­tralia, Vladimir Moro­zov, told News Corp Aus­tralia Rus­sia be­lieved the video had been mis­in­ter­preted by the media and sim­ply showed lo­cal peo­ple re­spond­ing to the in­ci­dent.

“We don’t think there was any­thing new in this video and it has been trans­lated wrong and mis­in­ter­preted by the media,” the spokesman said.

“It doesn’t prove those peo­ple in the video shot down MH17.” Am­bas­sador Moro­zov is in Moscow and was un­avail­able for di­rect com­ment.

News Corp Aus­tralia had three in­de­pen­dent Rus­sian and Ukrainian speak­ers trans­late the 17- minute video.

A video still show­ing a man go­ing through a bag among the wreck­age of flight MH17.

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