Deal reached with rebels on access to MH17 crash site

Written by Reuters | Kuala Lumpur | Updated: Jul 28 2014, 08:07am hrs
An agreement has been reached with separatists in Ukraine to enable international police to oversee a site where a Malaysian plane was downed and investigators to determine why the aircraft crashed, Malaysias prime minister said on Sunday.

Pro-Russian separatists remain in control of the site where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down earlier this month and have restricted access to rescue teams and investigators.

Eastern regions are gripped by heavy fighting as Ukrainian government forces try to dislodge the separatists. A statement issued by Prime Minister Najib Razak's office said the agreement with separatist leader Aleksander Borodai would "provide protection for international crash investigators" to recover human remains and ascertain the cause of the crash.

It is imperative that we deploy a full team of investigators to ensure all the human remains are removed from the site, identified and repatriated, Najib said in the statement.

We also need a full deployment of investigators to have unfettered access to the crash site so we can understand precisely what happened to MH17, it added.