In a disturbing new twist to the MH17 saga, Malaysia’s Transport Ministry says Malaysia was not given full access to the Dutch Safety Board’s (DSB) investigation into the downing of the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight, shot down over Ukraine.
Malaysia, the country that owned the aircraft, claims to have been kept at arm’s length from the investigation.
A report in Malaysia’s New Straits Times quoted the country’s deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi , saying Malaysia did not extend its full cooperation in the initial stage of the probe, because it was denied “full access and privileges” of the sort enjoyed by other parties.
Aziz said Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) was not made a full member in the joint investigation. Unlike other members, Malaysian representatives were granted only limited access.
“We were the owner of the aircraft. How can we be prevented full access?” he asked.
“We could not view the aircraft and were not invited to attend certain meetings. In the end, we cooperated when they gave us full access after acknowledging our role. It even says so in the news report.”
Aziz was responding to allegations by Australia’s News Corp that Malaysia had initially been reluctant to cooperate. The article claimed Malaysia Airlines had delayed the DSB probe by denying investigators access to its employees and documents.
Aziz described the report as one-sided.
MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 people aboard.
The DSB found the tragedy was caused by a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile, but controversy persists over who fired it. The Dutch Safety Board could not pinpoint the launch location.
Edited by William Sykes