(Adds comment from defence minister)
KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 Malaysian Transport
Minister Liow Tiong Lai will fly to the Ukraine capital of Kiev
on Saturday to ensure an investigating team gets safe access to
the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
The United States believes the plane was hit by a
surface-to-air missile fired from rebel-controlled territory in
eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board were killed.
"We will want to ensure a safe corridor to the site," Liow
told reporters. "... we sent a team to Kiev yesterday night. I
will be leaving for Kiev tonight to ensure we have access to the
Defence Minister and former Transport Minister Hishammuddin
Hussein, the public face of the government during the crisis
over the missing MH370 airliner in March, said the main priority
was to ensure security and that any debris was not tampered
"We want to get to the bottom of this," he added, saying
international cooperation was needed and that Malaysia had been
in touch with officials in Russia, Ukraine, the United States,
Britain and China.
"We do not have a position until the facts have been
verified, whether the plane was really brought down, how it was
brought down, who brought it down."
(Reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing
by Paul Tait and Robert Birsel)