Labor welcomes the decision of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to charge three Russians and a Ukrainian with murder over the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
We commend the professionalism and rigour in which the JIT has continued to pursue its painstaking investigations to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of 298 innocent people, including 38 Australians.
We especially commend the work of the Australian Federal Police, who have been an integral part of the JIT, along with Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
Labor pays tribute to former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for her tireless work to bring to justice those responsible for the downing of MH17 and her compassion and support for the families of the Australian victims.
The charging of the four men reinforces the JIT’s findings that the missile that shot down MH17 was under the control of Russian military forces operating in eastern Ukraine, and launched from an area controlled by pro-Russian fighters.
It is now long past time for Russia to abandon its obstructionist approach and ensure the four men charged with this despicable and wanton act of murder now stand trial in the Netherlands.
Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their precious loved ones aboard MH17, and who are today once again being forced to relive the pain and grief of that day, as they continue to wait for justice.
We must not let them down.