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Published: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 7:32:00 PM
Updated: Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 7:33:53 PM

MH370 search: Malaysia to ink pact with Australia on probe

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Australia are expected to sign an agreement specifying who would handle the wreckage and black box of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370, missing since March 8, if they are recovered.

Department of Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the agreement was still in the drafting process and thus could not reveal more on the matter.

“The framework agreement between Malaysia and Australia is an understanding on how to deal with the wreckage, black box and also human remains if we are able to locate (the plane).

“Once we have sorted out the details with Australia, we should be able to give more details to the media,” he told a media conference presided over by acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on developments pertaining to the search for MH370 here, Saturday.

Present were Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi and MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

Hishammuddin said he had spoken to Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) chief coordinator Air Chief Marshal (Rtd) Angus Houston to ensure that arrangements made between the two countries would be in consultation with international partners in the search operation.

“Whatever arrangement with Australia, as we have done in the past weeks, we do that without any agenda, without any problem. It’s quite a seamless approach.

“This, I believe, is testimony of the working understanding that we have with our partners and friends in the search operation,” he explained.

Flight MH370 with 239 people aboard disappeared from radar screens while over the South China Sea after leaving the KL InternationalAirport at 12.41am on March 8. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.

A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, in the southern Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz, who leads the technical committee set up by the Malaysian government, said the proposal on the formation of an investigation team for MH370 would be submitted before the Cabinet on Wednesday.

The team would carry out a transparent, independent and competent investigation as there are independent international investigators as well as accredited representatives from countries involved in the MH370 search operation.

The investigation team, which is being led by the Malaysian government, was announced on April 5 with the inclusion of three groups, namely the airworthiness group, operational group, as well as a medical and human factor group, in addition to three ministerial committees. – Bernama

Tags / Keywords: MH370, Malaysia Airlines, missing flight

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