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Rebels Release Flight MH17's Black Boxes to Malaysians

Ukraine separatists relinquished two black boxes from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Monday, handing them over to Malaysian authorities.

Ukrainian separatists handed over two black boxes from Malaysia Airlines flight 17 late Monday, four days after the jet crashed over rebel-held territory, Reuters reported. The transfer, in the city of Donetsk, came in a deal brokered by Malysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as part of an effort to begin investigating the crash, in which 298 people died. "Here they are, the black boxes," rebel leader Alexander Borodai announced. A Malaysian official later proclaimed the devices to be "in good condition."

The pro-Russia separatists have been accused of shooting down the plane and of blocking access to the crash site by international investigators. The rebels have denied any wrongdoing, and have blamed the Ukraine government. Borodai also agreed Monday to move 282 victims' bodies from the site on a refrigerated train, the first leg of long journey that is expected to end in the Netherlands, home to most of the victims, where forensic work will be completed. Borodai has also guaranteed independent international investigators' safe access to the crash site to begin a full investigation of the incident, Razak said Monday.

—Jon Schuppe

A pro-Russian fighter places a black box from the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on a table while handing it over from Donetsk People's Republic officials to Malaysian representatives in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on July 22.Dmitry Lovetsky / AP



- Jonathan Schuppe