Malaysia needs access to the Ukraine crash site of Flight MH17 to collect evidence and bring to justice the attackers who shot down the national carrier jet, Prime Minister Najib Razak said.

“We do have intelligence report on what happened to MH17,” Najib told reporters in Putrajaya today, referring to the downed flight of Malaysian Airline System Bhd. “We need evidence to bring those responsible to court. That’s why we need to enter the crash site to comb for evidence before winter starts.”

Forty-three Malaysians were among the 283 passengers and 15 crew killed when the jet traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was hit by a surface-to-air missile and crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17. The plane was probably shot down by an SA-11 missile fired by rebels from insurgent-held territory in the country, according to U.S. Ambassador to United Nations Samantha Power.

Dutch travelers made up the biggest national group at more than 190 aboard the Malaysia Airlines jet. Other victims came from Australia, Indonesia, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand. The Dutch safety board will issue a preliminary report on findings about Flight MH17 on Sept. 9.

The tragedy was the second air disaster for the Southeast Asian nation in five months. In March, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared en route for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, with 239 passengers and crew on board, sparking the longest search for a missing jetliner in modern aviation history. That plane hasn’t been found.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, attending a joint press conference with Najib in Putrajaya today, said his nation won’t give up the search and will do whatever is necessary to salvage the wreckage.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stanley James at

Photo Credit: This photo provided by Laurent Errera and taken Dec. 26, 2011, shows a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER taking off from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in France. Laurent Errera / Associated Press