- The flight disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board, including 153 Chinese passengers, prompting a vast search and rescue operation
- Former Australian PM Tony Abbott’s remarks are part of a documentary. He also said the Malaysian government never provided alternative explanations
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott claims he was told “very early on” in the investigation of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that the Malaysian government believed the pilot deliberately crashed the plane as part of a murder-suicide plot, local media reported on Tuesday.
Tony Abbott, who was in office at the time of the plane’s 2014 disappearance, made the comments as part of a documentary to be aired later this week by Sky News.
“My very clear understanding, from the very top levels of the Malaysian government, is that from very, very early on here they thought it was murder-suicide by the pilot,” he said in a preview of the documentary released by Sky News.
The pilot in command was 53-year-old Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah from Penang. He joined Malaysia Airlines as a cadet pilot in 1981.
The Boeing 777 flight, carrying 239 people on board, vanished from radar less than 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014. Of the 227 passengers, 153 were Chinese citizens.
In late 2016, and again in August 2017, wreckage of the plane was found along the coast of Madagascar, an island nation off Africa.
In the weeks after the crash, Mike Glynn, a committee member of the Australian and International Pilots Association, said he considered pilot suicide to be the most likely explanation for the disappearance.
“A pilot rather than a hijacker is more likely to be able to switch off the communications equipment,” Glynn said. “The last thing that I, as a pilot, want is suspicion to fall on the crew, but it’s happened twice before.”
#RobertReview (MH370): 9 | 10
“Malaysian Government said MH370 was Murder-Suicide” claims Ex-PM Tony Abbott. But it was a Heroic Mission went wrong, ghost-whispered by Captain Zaharie.
Investigators should search for MH370 in the Madagascar Arc (not near Australia) as most MH370 debris were found near Madagascar.
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