KUALA LUMPUR: Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail is having discussions with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on who should have the custody of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370's black box, if it is found.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said on Sunday that the A-G was currently in the United Kingdom discussing with the ICAO and other experts over the matter.
"We are getting closer to that issue. The A-G is in the UK discussing it. The ICAO and experts involved are relying on international law and domestic law on who should actually have custody of the black box, once we do find it," Hishammuddin said this during a press conference after a walkabout at the Defence Services Asia exhibition at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
The Boeing 777-200ER is registered in Malaysia and owned by MAS. And under the ICAO, the country of origin of the aircraft is obliged to launch an investigation and secure the wreckage. However, Malaysia has asked Australia to lead the search in the southern Indian Ocean.
Hishammuddin, however, reiterated that the focus was always on locating the plane first, which has been missing for 37 days since it disappeared from radar screens on March 8.
He also said that there was no telephone call made by MH370 co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid when the plane was flying low on the day it disappeared as reported in a local daily.
However, he said, the issue would be under the police and other relevant international agencies and would be revealed when the time came.
"I don't want to speculate on that out of respect for the families of the pilot and co-pilot. And I don't want to disturb the investigations being done now, not only by Malaysian police but other intelligence agencies," he said.
Hishammuddin also stated that based on current investigation, there was no suspicious circumstances on the passenger manifests and the police were still investigating the four possibilities on the MH370 disappearance.
"The police are still investigating the possibility of hijacking, the issue of terrorism, psychological and personal problems," he said.
The aircraft's black box, comprising a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder, may unlock the questions as to what happened to Beijing-bound MH370, which veered thousands of kilometres from its route.
Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later, while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learned that the plane had veered off course, along two corridors - the northern corridor stretching from the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand and the southern corridor, from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.
Following an unprecedented type of analysis of satellite data, United Kingdom satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch concluded that Flight MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak then announced on March 24 - 17 days after the disappearance of the aircraft - that Flight MH370 "ended in the southern Indian ocean". The search continues from there.