Justice pledge as families remember loved ones killed on downed MH17 plane

Justice pledge as families remember loved ones killed on downed MH17 plane

Justice pledge as families remember loved ones killed on downed MH17 plane

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has given her full support to the "independent and fair and transparent" Dutch prosecution of those responsible for killing the 298 people on board flight MH17, including 38 Australians. The attendees included family members of the victims, Dutch King Wilhem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, and other worldwide guests and politicians.

A Dutch-led team of investigators that included Australians concluded in September the rocket was sacked from territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.

The so-called "forest monument", designed by Dutch landscape artist Ronald Westerhuis, is also surrounded by sunflowers, which the memorial website says "refer to the sunflower fields in eastern Ukraine where some parts of the plane wreckage were found". Most of the passengers, 196 people, were Dutch, but victims also included citizens of Australia and Malaysia among other countries.

"To ensure that those responsible for the downing of MH17 are held accountable and brought to justice, the criminal investigation needs the continuing support of the worldwide community", she said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko used Facebook to demand the Russian government be held accountable for the tragedy.

According to him, this crime might not have happened if a Russian missile had not been delivered from the territory of Russia amid the Russian aggression.

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Russian Federation has denied all involvement, and a number of issues have made the case hard to bring to court.

The new commemorative site there features 298 trees - one for each victim - planted to form a "green ribbon" around a four-metre-tall steel wall.

"The tragedy of Flight MH17, in which so many lives were lost, remains a constant source of sorrow and sadness for the European Union", said Federica Mogherini.

At an emotional ceremony marking three years since MH17 was shot down, Evert van Zijtveld said a group representing victims' families "shall not give up and shall not be silenced until those who are responsible have been brought to justice".

Last month, the Netherlands said that suspects in the case would be tried in a Dutch court, and under Dutch law.

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