MH17 next-of-kin say M’sia’s stand on investigation confusing, demand briefing

KUALA LUMPUR – The next-of-kin (NOK) of 31 victims of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 have urged local authorities to brief them over its action plans over the mystery of the ill-fated plane which went down in 2014.

In a statement, the NOK said the inaction by local authorities has caused distress and discontent.

According to the group, MAS and Khazanah Nasional Bhd had not released any statements over the MH17 investigation.

“We would therefore like to be briefed by the relevant Malaysian authorities on the action plans in place, if any, which are aimed to uncover the truth behind the incident which had taken the lives of 41 Malaysian citizens.

The NOK also criticised contradicting statements made by the government against the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

“These statements have added confusion and caused anguish to some of the NOK,” it added.

Last June, the JIT, consisting of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, announced that four individuals – three Russians and one Ukrainian – would be charged with the downing of MH17.

According to the NOK, Malaysia’s representative on the JIT, Mohamed Hanafiah, said that Malaysia supported the JIT’s conclusions.

“Notwithstanding, statements made by Malaysian officials subsequent to said press conference are inconsistent with the position taken by Mohamed Hanafiah.

“To our knowledge, the JIT is the only body that has been working tirelessly for the last five years to uncover the truth behind the MH17 incident and to hold accountable those responsible for the tragedy.

“In the absence of any other investigations or findings, we would like to express our full support to the JIT and the findings which have since been presented.

“We would also like to place on record our sincere gratitude and appreciation for their efforts thus far.”

On June 20, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad described the decision to charge the four individuals with murder over flight MH17 as a political plot against Russia.

He said Malaysia was not convinced by the JIT’s findings and demanded that the investigators provide proof that the Russians were behind the shooting.

The four were Russian nationals Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. – thestaronline