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MH17 trial best option for justice: Bishop

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July 16, 2017

A major new memorial will be opened near Schiphol airport to honour the MH17 victims.

Three years on from the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine, the Australian government is staunchly committed to bringing those responsible to justice.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has given her full support to the "independent and fair and transparent" Dutch prosecution of those responsible for killing the 298 people on board flight MH17, including 38 Australians.

"We will work as hard as we can to ensure that the families of those who were killed do receive justice and can have some closure after this atrocity that occurred three years ago," Ms Bishop told ABC TV on Sunday.

MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down on July 17, 2014, and crashed in Ukraine's disputed Donetsk region.

A Dutch-led team of investigators that included Australians concluded in September the rocket was fired from territory in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.

Nevertheless, Russia insists the plane was brought down by Ukraine's military, not the separatists.

Australia has pursued every legal avenue and believes the Dutch prosecution was the best option available after Russia vetoed a United Nations move for an international tribunal.

Ms Bishop said the trial in the Netherlands may have to be in absentia, with reports some witnesses had been detained in Russia.

"I certainly urge Russia to comply with the (UN) Security Council resolution and do all it can to help bring these people to account," she said.

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