'Shot down by criminals': Illawarra MPs react to MH17 disaster

Flowers and mementos lie on wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region on July 19. Picture: REUTERS

Flowers and mementos lie on wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region on July 19. Picture: REUTERS

"This plane didn't fall out of the sky, it was shot down by criminals and any failure by those who control the territory to help investigate the incident makes them an accessory after the fact."

So said Throsby MP Stephen Jones on Sunday. He said he had met Michael and Carol Clancy several times.

Since the MH17 disaster, which claimed the lives of the Kanahooka couple and 34 other Australians among 298 people on board, Mr Jones has had stern words for pro-Russian rebels hampering access to the crash site in the eastern Ukraine village of Hrabove.

"There is outrage in the community, and it should be directed at the perpetrators," Mr Jones said.

"It is clear the Russian government is in a position to assist the world community in bringing those responsible to justice. Any failure to do so would make them an accessory after the fact."

Mr Jones and Labor colleague Sharon Bird are the Illawarra's federal MPs who will no doubt soon be faced with a decision as to what action, if any, Australia should take on the MH17 downing. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called the incident a "crime" and called on Russia to co-operate with the investigation. Mr Jones echoes these comments.

"The Australian community are justified in saying to anybody involved: 'You are either with us in helping bring the perpetrators to justice or you are against us'," Mr Jones said.

Ms Bird said it was an "absolute expectation" investigators be given full access to the crash site.

"The priority has to be a full and independent investigation," she said.

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