CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday countries that have been "so wronged" should take responsibility for securing the crime scene where the Malaysian jetliner was shot down in Ukraine.
Abbott listed Malaysia, Netherlands as well as Australia among countries wronged when a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down last week, with the loss of 298 lives.
But he did not say whether Australia, which lost 37 citizens and residents in the tragedy, would be prepared to send troops or police to secure the site for independent investigators, saying the security arrangements were still under discussion among government leaders.
"There does need to be security for the site and I would think that security for the site would be best be provided by the countries that have been so wronged here," Abbott told reporters.
"There's quite a long way to go between what we've got now and what we would like to see, which is a fully secure and protected site where investigators can go about their task without hindrance from others," he said.
Despite the United Nations Security Council unanimously backing an Australian-drafted resolution on Monday demanding that pro-Russian rebels controlling the crash site refrain from compromising evidence, Abbott said the site continued to be trampled.
"After the crime, comes the cover-up. What we have seen is evidence tampering on an industrial scale and obviously that has to stop," Abbott said.