11:04 May. 18, 2016
Malaysian plane MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board
NSW Coroner Michael Barnes has found the deaths of six NSW passengers in the Malaysia Airlines flight 17 crash were caused by 'deliberate, malicious acts on the other side of the world'.
Carol and Michael Clancy, Gabriele Lauschet, Jack O'Brien, Victor Oreshkin and Sister Mary (Philomene) Tiernan were among the 38 Australian citizens and permanent residents killed when the plane they were travelling in was shot down on July 17, 2014.
"All of the deaths were the result of injury sustained as a result of a high altitude aircraft disintegration caused by the detonation of a war head," Mr Barnes said at an inquest on Tuesday, May 17. "The fatal injuries were inflicted as a result of a person, or persons who has, or have not yet, been identified by deliberately firing a missile equipped with an exploding warhead at the jet liner."
NSW has jurisdiction to make findings into the deaths of its citizens but Mr Barnes said important aspects of the disaster remained unknown.
"But it would be pointless ... not to acknowledge that these deaths were part of a gross mass murder," Mr Barnes said. "A joint investigation team is conducting a criminal investigation into the disaster with the ultimate goal of identifying and prosecting the perpetrators of the attack."
Criminal investigations are still ongoing but the Dutch Safety Board has determined the plane was targeted by a Russian-made warhead launched off a surface-to-air-missile system by pro-Russia separatists in a conflict zone of Ukraine near the Russian border. Full story