MH17 victims’ kin lash out at ‘bully’ Trump

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Canberra, July 18 (IANS) The parents of three Australian children who died when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine have condemned US President Donald Trump for his refusal to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin to account over the tragedy.

In a scathing post on Facebook on Tuesday, Anthony Maslin challenged Trump on the “irrefutable facts” surrounding the shooting down of the MH17 flight by a Russian missile in 2014. His partner Rin Norris described the US President and Putin as “bullies”. Both leaders held a summit earlier this week in Finland.

The Perth couple’s children — Mo, Evie and Otis — and Norris’ father were among 298 people killed in the tragedy.

“Mr Trump, you invented and speak a lot about ‘fake news’. But let’s try talking about something that’s not fake … let’s call them irrefutable facts,” Maslin said in his post.

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“That passenger flight MH17 was shot out of the sky and 298 innocent people were murdered is an irrefutable fact… That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact.

“That this killed our 3 beautiful children and their grandfather, and destroyed our life and many other lives in the process, is an irrefutable fact,” he said, adding, “It’s not anger that I feel towards the two of you, its something much, much worse. It’s pity.”

Russia has always insisted it played no part whatsoever in the downing of MH17. The victims of MH17 included 193 Dutch nationals, 43 people from Malaysia and 27 from Australia. The others on board came from countries including Indonesia, the UK, Belgium, Germany and the Philippines.

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In May, Australia and the Netherlands said they held Russia responsible for the shooting down of the plane, which had been en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The US, EU, NATO and the UK added their own calls for Russia to accept responsibility for the incident, the BBC reported.

On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he did not believe Russia’s stance on MH17. “I certainly don’t trust Vladimir Putin when he says he or the Russian Army had nothing to do with the downing of MH17,” he told News Corp Australia.

His government has said it will continue to press Russia to take responsibility for the tragedy.

–IANS

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