| KIEV/KHARKIV, Ukraine, July 24
KIEV/KHARKIV, Ukraine, July 24 Gunmen chased
investigators from the site where the Malaysian airliner crashed
and "lunatics" were still making life difficult for those who
wanted to find out what downed flight MH17, officials said on
As foreign ministers from Australia and the Netherlands met
Ukrainian officials to coordinate the investigation, the head of
Ukraine's Emergency Situations Service and the chief of a Dutch
police mission said their work at the site was being hampered.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,
however, said there had been no incidents, and that they had
been joined by experts from Malaysia and Australia, which lost
28 citizens in the crash.
The West has called for a thorough investigation into the
downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine to get justice for
the 298 people who were killed, but have voiced concern that the
rebels were preventing investigators from doing their job.
"They took away our tents, the ones which were at our base
camp," Serhiy Bochkovsky, the head of the emergencies service,
told a news conference in the eastern city of Kharkiv from where
the remains of the victims are starting their journey home.
"We were allowed only our equipment and machinery and we
were chased away at gunpoint."
He did not say when this happened.
The head of the Dutch police mission in Ukraine also said it
was difficult to get access to the site to look for more of the
remains of the victims, many of whom were Dutch.
"But the process is not over, there are still remains in
your country and it's very hard to get there because there are
some, and I would say it's not politically correct, but there
are still some lunatics there," Jan Tuinder said.
"It's very hard for us to get to the remains."
Asked about the incidents, Michael Bociurkiw, an OSCW
spokesman, said: "None whatsoever."
The Netherlands formally took over the investigation into
the crash from Ukraine on Thursday after the United Nations
Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the
downing of the plane and demanding armed groups allow "safe,
secure, full and unrestricted access" to the crash site.
In Kiev, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she
expected the separatists to allow a better international
presence at the site.
"Now that the legal framework is in place ... and that
Ukraine has transferred legal responsibility to the Netherlands,
we feel we'll get more progress from the separatists," she said.
Putting the Dutch in charge of the criminal investigation
was a way to get around the opposition to the U.N. Security
Council resolution voiced by Russia should Kiev lead the probe,
(Additional reporting by Alexander Vasovic in Donetsk; Editing
by Giles Elgood)