Malaysia silent as France reopens MH370 ‘box’

In this March 3, 2018, file photo, a girl writes a condolence message during the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Malaysia silent as France reopens MH370 ‘box’

  • Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370, carrying 239 crew and passengers, went missing in March 2014, 40 minutes into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing
  • In July, Malaysian authorities released a 1,500-page final report that failed to provide any explanation for the flight’s disappearance

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been tight-lipped about French investigators’ decision to reopen the probe into the missing Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370 amid criticisms of the investigation by Malaysian authorities. 

In July, Malaysian authorities released a 1,500-page final report that failed to provide any explanation for the flight’s disappearance. 

The MH370, carrying 239 crew and passengers, went missing in March 2014, 40 minutes into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Victims’ relatives and friends continue to question the Malaysian report’s findings, with some citing the possibility of interference in the investigation. This has led to France’s Gendarmerie of Air Transport (GTA) launching its own probe.

The GTA is keen to re-examine all the technical data provided by British satellite operator Inmarsat in the hope of determining and confirming the aircraft’s flight path.

Malaysian authorities did not respond to requests from Arab News for comment. Dr. Oh Ei Sun, senior adviser at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, told Arab News that the “French connection” to this matter lies with the discovery of aircraft parts allegedly from the MH370 in the French overseas territory of Reunion. 

To date, more than 20 pieces of possible debris from the MH370 have been found along the African coast and islands in the Indian Ocean.

“It would be interesting to see how the French would go about their investigation differently, as supposedly both Malaysia and Australia conducted investigations with inconclusive results,” said Oh.

Aviation expert Rizal Kamaruzzaman disputed any “cover up” by Malaysian authorities. “Malaysia has no interest in concealing or manipulating facts in the report, as it has invested millions of dollars and expended civilian and military resources to get to the bottom of the issue,” he told Arab News.

“It would be desirable if a French investigation is able to extract additional data or facts from corporations under their jurisdiction. This could add to the body of knowledge that exists around the MH370,” he said.

“It’s important that French investigators start with the basics, such as reviewing the flight plan and any deviations.”

Many aviation experts would like to know the methods used by Inmarsat experts to predict the aircraft’s final position, he added.


Sudanese policeman dies from wounds after protesters stone vehicle

Updated 21 min 58 sec ago
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Sudanese policeman dies from wounds after protesters stone vehicle

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese policeman has died from his wounds after protesters threw stones at a police vehicle passing close to demonstrations in the capital Khartoum, a police spokesman said on Friday.
The vehicle was passing the area by chance late on Thursday, the spokesman said, adding that a number of suspects had been arrested.
The case brings the official death toll during protests that have spread since Dec. 19 across Sudan to 32, including three security personnel. An opposition-linked doctors’ syndicate said last week that 57 people had been killed in the protests.
“The vehicle was pelted with stones, and they were police returning from training and had no link to the dispersal of the unrest,” said police spokesman Hashem Ali.
Security forces dispersed protests close to the presidential palace in Khartoum on Thursday, rounding up several dozen of them and driving them away in pick up trucks, witnesses said.
On Friday police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people who protested after leaving a mosque in Omdurman, across the Nile from central Khartoum, witnesses said.
The protesters had blocked a road with stones and branches chanting, “Down, that’s it!,” “Freedom, peace and justice,” and “The people’s choice is revolution.”
The protests were triggered by a deepening economic crisis and have become the most sustained popular challenge to President Omar Al-Bashir since he took power in a coup nearly 30 years ago.
The president and his ruling National Congress Party have shown no sign of bowing to demands to quit and have blamed the unrest on unnamed foreign agents.