PETALING JAYA: Malaysian investigators will be involved in the reconstruction of the wreckage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in the Netherlands.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said this was because Dutch authorities and other teams needed lots of details about the flight to carry out their investigations on the matter.
“We know that we are involved in the whole investigation, reconstruction of the aircraft. We’ll send our personnel there to assist in the remodelling,” he told The Star, although he could not confirm when Malaysian investigators would arrive in the Netherlands for this purpose.
Liow was referring to the reconstruction of the MH17 wreckage, which had been brought in from Ukraine over land before arriving at the Gilze-Rijen air force base on Tuesday.
According to a statement by the Dutch Safety Board – which will be handling the investigations – these were the first pieces of the wreckage which were brought in via two convoys of eight trucks.
“A designated hangar at the air force base has been cleared especially for the investigation of the wreckage,” the statement read.
Two more convoys were en route to Gilze-Rijen, it added.
Liow said the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia Airlines, the (Malaysian) police and the Attorney-General would help the Dutch.
“They’ll be given specific tasks at different committees and all join together, and share the information to get the findings,” he said.
He said all information needed to be shared so that those responsible for the tragedy could be tried in court. Asked why it took a long time for Malaysia to be included in the criminal investigation team, Liow said this was due to “communication”.
“They (the other countries involved in the investigations) had some discussion on that and they could not finalise it until the Prime Minister’s (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) insistence and they accepted us.”
It was reported that Malaysia was only accepted as part of the MH17 criminal investigation process as of late November. It was previously only part of the technical investigation team.
On when Malaysian investigators would be allowed back to the crash site for further inspections, Liow looked at a possible post-spring return.
“We might not be able to enter until after spring, that will be March, April,” he said, citing the current winter and hostilities between the Ukrainian government and rebel forces there.