Surrender MH17 killers, Australia tells Russia

Moscow is not accepting a Dutch court’s guilty ruling.

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia’s foreign minister on Friday urged Russia to surrender three men found guilty of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and called out President Vladimir Putin for “harboring murderers.”

A Dutch court on Thursday sentenced three men to life imprisonment over the 2014 downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine.

Russians Igor Girkin and Sergei Dubinsky and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko were found guilty in absentia of shooting down the Boeing 777 with a Russian-supplied missile, killing all 298 passengers on board.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the verdict confirmed the “Russian Federation has responsibility.”

“We call on Russia to surrender those convicted so they may face the court’s sentence for their heinous crimes,” she told reporters.

“No amount of avoidance, obfuscating, or disinformation from the Russian Federation can avoid that fact.”

Wong said Russia’s refusal to hand over the men was ultimately a damning indictment on Putin’s character.

“We would say to Russia the world knows that you’re harbouring murderers and that says something about you Mr Putin,” she later told national broadcaster ABC.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, speaking on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Bangkok, said Russia should hand over the perpetrators of “this atrocious act of terrorism”.

“Our thoughts today are with the families and friends who lost loved ones in that atrocity,” he told reporters.

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