SYDNEY - Australia is ready to send police to Ukraine as part of an international team to secure the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash site, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday. He dispatched 50 officers to London on standby. Abbott said that he had spoken with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin about ensuring safe access for the officers.
Abbott has accused Russian-backed rebels who control the area of tampering with evidence on "an industrial scale" and argued that outside police or possibly military force was needed to ensure that did not continue. He also said the site looked more like a "garden clean-up" than a forensic investigation. The Boeing 777 was shot down last week in eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. Twenty eight Australians were killed.
First published July 24 2014, 1:14 AM