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International experts must investigate Malaysia Airlines Ukraine crash, French MP

Ukrainians leave candles and flowers at the Dutch embassy in Kiev for victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17
Ukrainians leave candles and flowers at the Dutch embassy in Kiev for victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

International experts should be rushed to Ukraine to establish whether Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down, a leading French MP said Friday. On Thursday President François Hollande said that several French nationals could have been on board.

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“Independent international experts should be allowed to go the scene as soon as possible to examine the black boxes and establish the circumstances” surrounding the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, the chair of the French parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Elizabeth Guigou, told RMC radio on Friday.

US intelligence has claimed that pro-Russian rebels shot down the plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, while the Ukrainian government and the separatists have swapped accusations as to who was responsible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Kiev “bears responsibility” for the disaster.

French authorities were waiting for the airline to release the full list of passengers, Guigou said on Friday, as the identities of 40 had not been established.

Hollande, on a visit to Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday, said that several French people could have been on the plane.

On Friday morning Malaysia Airlines identified as have been on board:

  • 154 Dutch;
  • 43 Malaysians (including 15 crew);
  • 27 Australians;
  • 12 Indonesians;
  • Nine Britons;
  • Four Germans;
  • Five Belgians;
  • Three Filipinos;
  • One Canadian.

 

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