Malaysia hampered MH17 investigations, report claims

The Dutch final report on the MH17 crash allegedly criticised Malaysia for hindering investigation, a news report has claimed. File picture shows Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, presenting the final report in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. — Reuters pic
The Dutch final report on the MH17 crash allegedly criticised Malaysia for hindering investigation, a news report has claimed. File picture shows Tjibbe Joustra, chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, presenting the final report in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands, October 13, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The final report on the Dutch-led investigation on the MH17 crash has allegedly criticised Malaysia for “suspending” assistance and conducting its own probe to exonerate itself, a news report has claimed.

Australia News Corp claimed that a section of the four-volume detailed analysis report released last week had stated that both Putrajaya and Malaysia Airlines – the owner of the ill-fated plane – had “actively sought to hinder the investigation to avoid scrutiny”, though they later chose to cooperate “in a limited way”.

“From the start of the investigation it proved to be more complicated to organise interviews with employees of the Malaysian Government and the airline in Kuala Lumpur, the same applied to obtaining the documents investigators requested (from) them,” the story claimed, quoting investigators cited in a section on failure of collecting international data.

The report said Malaysia eventually began sharing information, only to again see cooperation “temporarily suspended by order of the airline’s headquarters”.

It was only in January this year when Malaysian authorities allowed access to its employees and helped with information on the cause of the crash, the report added.

“The investigations into the flight route and the causes of the crash in particular were hindered by the fact that this information had not been available for a long time.

“In one case the lack of information caused the Dutch Safety Board to be unable to draw conclusions on a specific aspect of the investigation,” the report read as cited by the Australian news agency.

Aside from Malaysia, the Dutch report also criticised Russia for impeding investigations by failing to provide raw radar data of the flight’s last location and information on the Russian-made Buk missile, and Ukraine for not allowing certain officials to be interviewed and also failing to provide raw flight path radar data.

Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year, killing all 298 passengers onboard.

The final investigation report was released last week, 15 months after the incident based on a probe undertaken by a joint investigation team from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.

The victims were predominantly from the Netherlands, but also included citizens of Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand.

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