Daughter of couple killed on MH17: ‘We want honesty’
Jane Malcolm does not want vengeance, she wants answers and so too do the families of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, as four men accused of shooting down the passenger jet appear in court today.
Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko will not be attending court but their long-awaited trial into the 2014 downing of the aircraft begins to unravel who did what and why.
Jane Malcolm, 43, of Sydney, lost her parents, Carol and Michael Clancy, in the tragedy.
The retired Wollongong teachers were among the 38 Australians who were killed in the MH17 attack.
Russia has been blamed for six years, with phone records and social media posts linking key figures to the crime.
"They still don't have an alternative theory," Ms Malcolm said yesterday.
"It's proven they interfered after it happened but they have never said what happened to the plane.
"I just want the facts to be known, I'm not hell bent on vengeance, I just want them to stop it happening again. We want honesty for the families."
Ms Malcolm, who planned to attend the hearings later in year, said the court hearings were still important even though it was unlikely the charged men would attend court.
"At no stage has it looked likely they will show up, if they did, what would you do with them?" she said.
She said she wanted an end to "Russia's lies."
The Kremlin disputed the findings of the Joint Investigation Team there was a direct line of military command between the Ukrainian rebels and Russian authorities when details of the charges were detailed in June last year.
The JIT, which has been supported by the Australian Federal Police, and police in The Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia and the Ukraine, will bring the weight of six years of investigation to the table.
There were 298 passengers and crew who perished when the flight from Amsterdam to Malaysia was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukrainian air space.
Russian backed separatists have been blamed for the attack, which used a buk-missile allegedly supplied by the Kremlin.
Girkin was a former high-ranking member of Russia's FSB intelligence service and was appointed minster for defence for the Moscow-backed Donetsk that was once under rebel control.
Dubinsky was employed by Russia's GRU military intelligence agency and Pulatov, was a former soldier linked with the GRU.
Kharchenko had no military background, but was accused of an important role in the attack.
The JIT has also been searching for the crew directly involved in the attack.
But Ms Malcolm said she was concerned that one of those potentially responsible was sent back to Russia in a prisoner swap with the Ukraine in September last year.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne wrote to Ms Malcolm and the other Australian families raising her concerns that Vladimir Tsemakh was part of the exchange.
US president Donald Trump tweeted his support of the swap at the time, which has left Ms Malcolm wanting America to put more pressure on Russia to co-operate with the JIT probe.
"It all happened suddenly. The US don't seem to be applying the pressure to Russia," she said.
Ms Malcolm, who has visited the MH17 memorial, said she was terribly sad for the children and young people killed in the crash.
She said the ages of the victims "stood out" at the memorial.
"There were 80 children on that flight, as people in their 20s. Late teens and early 20s, that's technically children," she said.
"I'm 43 so I'm getting to the age where people are having their parents die. In some ways its normal, in other ways, it's very much not.
"There are people who have lost their kids, to some extent you are expecting your parents to die before you, but there were so many young people."