UK & World News
MH17 Culprits Will Face Justice Vows Abbott
Those responsible for shooting down the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine will face judgment, Australia's prime minister has said.
Tony Abbott was speaking as the country marked a day of mourning for the 38 Australians who died in the crash.
He told a multi-faith service at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne that hundreds of Australian offcials have been working around the clock to retrieve human remains and belongings from where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed on July 17.
"There will be a time to judge the guilty, but today we honour the dead and we grieve with the living," Mr Abbott said.
"Today is a national day of mourning and we will remember the 298 innocent people who died on Flight MH17.
"We grieve for all of them, but particularly for the 38 who called Australia home. Today we remember them and we will honour them."
The job of repatriating the victims suffered a setback on Wednesday after Dutch officials postponed the search due to deteriorating security in eastern Ukraine.
So far, 228 coffins with human remains have been flown to The Netherlands, which suffered the most casualties in the crash.
Former Australian defence force chief Angus Houston, who is coordinating the Australian response to the disaster, said the teams on the ground had achieved much of what they set out to do.
"When search and security conditions improve, we will conduct a final inspection to ensure that we have recovered all identifiable remains," he said in a statement.
"We are committed to honouring the victims of flight MH17 and seeking to give their loved ones the closure they deserve."