| SYDNEY, July 24
SYDNEY, July 24 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 on Wednesday, and has 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, who would be tasked with
securing the crash site for investigators.
On Tuesday, Abbott said that Russian-backed rebels who
control the area were tampering with evidence on "an industrial
scale" and argued that outside police or possibly military force
was needed to ensure that did not continue.
"We want to deploy them as quickly as possible because right
now there could well be remains exposed to the European summer,
exposed to the ravages of heat and animals," Abbott told
reporters in Canberra.
"So the quicker we can deploy a team, the quicker we can
conduct a thorough search, the better."
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
(Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Nick Macfie)