Live Updates on MH17: Rebel Leader Denies Interfering With Crash Site



Alexander-borodai
Aleksandr Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, speaks at a news conference in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, July 18, 2014.

Mashable is following the latest reports on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17. See our previous coverage here.
3 things you need to know:
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on Thursday over eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board — nearly 200 of them were Dutch. There are no known survivors.

  • U.S. officials believe the plane was downed by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists. It may have been mistaken for a Ukrainian air force cargo plane.

  • World leaders are demanding an immediate investigation.
  • 8:25 a.m. ET: Separatist leader Alexsander Borodai denies that rebels interfered with crash site

    Alexsander Borodai, self-declared prime minister of Donetsk People's Republic, said at a press conference on Saturday that pro-Russian rebels did not touch the site where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed.
    Borodai added, however, that they "reserve the right, if the delay continues ... to begin the process of taking away the bodies. We ask the Russian Federation to help us with this problem and send their experts," according to Reuters.

    The rebel leader also accused the Ukrainian government of preventing experts from accessing the site. "Maybe this is because Ukraine or the Ukrainian authorities are not interested in an objective investigation," he said.
    Borodai said a grandmother appealed to the rebels to take away a body that "landed right in her bed," but declined because "we cannot tamper with the site."

    7 a.m. ET: Local emergency workers start moving bodies from MH17 crash site




    5.20 a.m. ET: Malaysian authorities hold press conference

    Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a televised press conference on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur the passenger manifest would be released later in the day.
    Liow said there had been no confirmation of the black box recovery as yet and Malaysian authorities have requested an independent investigation team.
    The Transport Minister said it is inhumane if authorities are not allowed at the crash site in eastern Ukraine and he will be personally be heading there this evening.
    "We will want to ensure a safe corridor to the site," Liow told reporters. "We sent a team to Kyiv yesterday night. I will be leaving for Kyiv tonight to ensure we have access to the site."
    "We want to retrieve the human remains as soon as possible," he said. "The world has a moral obligation to ensure the remains of all victims are recovered and treated with respect."
    Malaysia Transport Minister

    Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai addresses the media.
    IMAGE: KAMAL SELLEHUDDIN, GETTY IMAGES
    He called for all people to respect the integrity of the crash site and allow an investigation to proceed.
    "Yes, MH17 has become a geopolitical issue. But we must not forget that it is a human tragedy. Days after the plane went down, the remains of 298 people lie uncovered," Liow said at the press conference.
    "This outrage cannot go unpunished. Malaysia condemns this brutal act of aggression, and calls for those responsible to be found, and to face the full force of justice without delay."
    Malaysia Airlines said their own analysis found the route MH17 flew was safe and described the track as a "highway of the sky".

    He advised the passenger manifest would be released shortly. All nationalities have now been identified: Netherlands, 192 (including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen); Malaysia, 44; Australia, 27; Indonesia, 12; UK, 10 (including 1 dual UK/South Africa citizen); Germany, 4; Belgium, 4; Philippines, 3; Canada, 1; New Zealand, 1.




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