Palmer: MH17 site too dangerous for AFP officers

CLIVE Palmer wants the contingent of Australian Federal Police in Ukraine to be brought home immediately because the MH17 crash site is too dangerous.

Speaking to ABC Radio this morning, Mr Palmer said while fighting was taking place, their lives were being put at risk.

"I'm very reluctant to say this, but we've got to protect these people before something happens to them," he told ABC's AM program.

"I just don't think it's realistic to have a lot of people who are alive worrying about recovering remains that's going to put anyone's life in danger, to be honest with you, I just can't see the point of it.

"I don't believe, that if it was my family I'd want to see other Australians killed just to recover remains, to be honest with you, and I don't think any of the families would want to put other families' husbands and wives at risk."

Mr Palmer said Australia may need to accept that recovering remains might be impossible.

ABC reports the Palmer United Party has not received a security briefing by the Government, nor has he requested one.

Mr Palmer tweeted that they should be brought home if they cannot access the crash site.

Earlier today, two Australian officers were able to reach the area as part of an international delegation.

Australia's 'sad, poignant' visit to MH17 site

AUSTRALIAN experts including a "very senior Australian police commander" have been confronted with human remains during their first visit to the MH17 crash site in Ukraine.

After days of frustrated attempts to reach the site due to political instability and ongoing military skirmishes between pro-Russian militants and Ukraine forces, the delegation was finally able to briefly access the area.

Spokesman for the international monitoring mission in Ukraine, Canadian Michael Bociurkiw told the ABC the Australians now have a better understanding of what will be needed to begin retrieving the remains.

A toy bear is placed on charred plane fuselage parts, as people walk through the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine.
A toy bear is placed on charred plane fuselage parts, as people walk through the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine. Vadim Ghirda

Mr Bociurkiw said the latest delegation included two Australians and two Dutch officers who had "a good look around" the crash site.

"They got a better appreciation of what type of extra assets would be needed to help the investigation and do crucial things like the resumption of the retrieval of human remains," Mr Bociurkiw told ABC.

"They did spot human remains today.

"For us, we've been there so many times now.

"But no matter how hardened we think we are, it was a very sad, poignant moment for us today because it was almost exactly two weeks to the hour that that plane came down."


AN Australian delegation has made it to the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 following approval by the Ukranian Parliament.

Reports this morning suggest just four Australians as part of the Dutch-led team reached the site, and even then, could only remain there briefly.

Prior to the site visit, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop thanked the Ukranian Government for recalling the Parliament in order for Australia to receive formal permission to visit the site.

"This was an important moment. We certainly welcome the vote. It was overwhelmingly in support of the Dutch-led leadership of the investigation," she said.

"We are very grateful to the Ukranian Parliament for recalling its Parliament so that this vote could take place.

"This is just one part of our mission. We now need toe nsure we get access to the site.

"There is a reconnaisance mission under way now. We're hearing hour-by-hour of their progress."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to hold a press conference with an update later this morning.

The Australian Federal Police, which has officers in the Ukraine, is yet to respond to requests for comment.

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