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Australia says MH17 missile suspects might be confirmed by year-end

SYDNEY Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Sunday the names of those responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014 might be confirmed by the end of the year.

"By the end of the year, maybe early next year, the list of those that we believe should be held accountable will be confirmed and then there must be a prosecution," Bishop said in an interview with Australian state broadcaster ABC.

International investigators said on Wednesday the passenger plane was downed by a Russian-made missile fired from a pro-Russian rebel village in eastern Ukraine.

The findings counter Moscow's suggestion that the flight, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014, was brought down by Ukraine's military rather than the separatists. All 298 people on board, including 28 Australians, were killed.

Bishop said the culprits could face an international tribunal, similar to the one used to prosecute those responsible for the 1988 bombing of a PanAm flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.

(Reporting by Harry Pearl; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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