Monday, 21 July 2014

Indonesian National Police help identify MH-17 victims

National Police chief Gen.Sutarman says the police’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team will help identify victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down in eastern Ukraine.

“We have prepared seven DVI members who will join with the Foreign Ministry’s team to help Malaysia identify the victims,” Sutarman said as quoted by Antara on Monday.

He was speaking after a force deployment ceremony ahead of a security operation called Operasi Ketupat (Ketupat Operation) 2014 at the Jakarta Police headquarters.

Sutarman said the police’s DVI team had received global acknowledgement for its experience and expertise in identifying decaying bodies, such as victims of the ill-fated Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed near Mount Salak in Sukabumi, West Java, in 2012.

The DVI team had members who were trained and tested well in revealing identities of victims of plane crashes.

The DVI team and forensics officials from several provincial polices have collected antemortem data, including dental records, finger prints, or special marks on bodies such as piercings, tattoos or small moles, of family members of 12 Indonesians who died in the MH-17 incident.

Dutch experts are calling for a full forensic sweep of the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down.

Members of the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team toured farm fields Monday near the eastern Ukrainian village of Hrabove, where they observed some of the victims' remains that had not yet been removed.

Investigations at the site have been hampered by the armed pro-Russia separatists who control the area.

The arrival of the Dutch forensics experts came as the United Nations Security Council was preparing to vote on a resolution demanding international access to the site where Flight 17 went down Thursday after being hit by a surface-to-air missile.

The investigators led by Peter Van Vilet of the Dutch LTFO forensic office climbed aboard to inspect the wagons, surrounded by armed rebels, that had been parked parked in the rebel-held town of Torez.

"We got the promise the train is going," he said, adding he did not know when.

The experts from the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team -- which specializes in victim recovery and identification -- also pressed for rebels to seal the train cars.

Associated Press journalists at the site said the smell of decay was overwhelming Monday and many with the inspectors wore masks or pressed cloths to the faces on the warm summer day.

A train engineer told the AP that a power outage had hit the cars' refrigeration system overnight and it was not immediately clear why. The cooling system was back up and running early Monday, he said.

Dutch banks respond to looting claims

Following news reports that the credit cards of passengers killed on downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 had been looted, the Dutch Banking Association on Saturday said it would take "preventative measures" to protect Dutch victims' accounts.

"International media report that victims' bank cards may have been stolen. … Banks are taking preventative measures when necessary," the statement said.

Several international media outlets have reported looting at the crash site, although direct evidence of theft is scarce — in part because international observers were denied access to the scene by the pro-Russian separatists who control the area.

Banks will compensate the victims' next of kin for any losses resulting from abuse of their bank cards, the Dutch Banking Association said in their statement.

Monday 21 July 2014


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