Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel leader Alexander Borodai to give black boxes to Malaysian investigators

The black boxes will be handed over in Donetsk at 9pm local time on Monday

The leader of pro-Russian rebels has agreed to give Malaysian investigators in Ukraine the black boxes from flight MH17 which was shot down on Thursday, the Malaysian Prime Minister has said.

Following a phone conversation with Alexander Borodai, Prime Minister Najib Razak also said the rebel leader would allow independent international investigators “safe access” to the site where the Malaysia Airlines commercial jet went down in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

The black boxes, which could hold information about the flight en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, will be handed over to the Malaysia team in Donetsk at 9pm Monday (8pm GMT).

His announcement came as the remains of 282 of the crash victims were being moved by train from the eastern Ukrainian city of Torez to Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine.

From there, they will be flown to Amsterdam on a Dutch C130 Hercules military plane and handed over to Dutch authorities, Najib said.

 

Read more: Malaysia Airlines to 'file for bankruptcy or go private'
Obama: Putin responsible for forcing rebels to co-operate

“I must stress that although an agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed,” Najib said at a news conference at his residence just after midnight, local time, on Monday.

“There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr. Borodai and his people have so far given their cooperation.”

As Mayalsia is a Muslim nation, the loved ones of the 43 citizens who died on board the aircraft had become increasingly distressed that remains were not buried within a day - or as soon as possible - as custom dictates.

But Najib said that following any necessary forensic work, the remains of the Malaysian nationals would soon be flown to their home country.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces rebels will hand over the two black boxes (Reuters)es flight MH17 will be handed over to Malaysia by Ukrainian rebels, in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announces rebels will hand over the two black boxes (Reuters)
On Sunday, he had said that the remains of the Malaysian victims must be returned to Malaysia before the Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan., which this year falls on 28 July.

Anger and resentment toward the Russian-backed rebels and Moscow have been escalating worldwide, including in Malaysia, where there have been calls for economic sanctions against Russia.

Emotions have were also running high in the Netherlands, from where 193 of the victims on board MH17 were from.

Prosecutors in the Netherlands have opened a war crimes investigation into the incident, which Western powers have largely blamed on Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte told parliament on Monday that his government's priority was to recover and identify the bodies of the victims.

Moscow has responded to US-led claims of Russian complicity in the shooting down of the aircraft, by claiming that Ukrainian warplanes had flown close to the passenger jet before it crashed.

On Monday, the Russian defence ministry also rejected accusations that Moscow had supplied the rebels with SA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile systems - the weapon said by Kiev and the West to have downed the airliner - “or any other weapons”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all