BERA: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is having none of the allegation that Flight MH17 was shot down by a fighter jet.
“In my personal capacity as Defence Minister and from what I have seen, I believe it’s impossible that an air-to-air missile was used to shoot down the plane,” he said yesterday.
He said he arrived at the conclusion based on military intelligence and the salvaged parts of the ill-fated MAS aircraft.
“It was a surface-to-air missile and in that area, such a system could belong to the Ukrainian side or the rebel forces. The separatists could be supplied by Russia,” Hishammuddin told reporters after opening the Bera Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings meeting here.
He said the type of surface-to-air missile that was in the area was the BUK system but other possibilities were still under investigation.
It was reported that intelligence analysts in the United States concluded that the plane was shot down by an air-to-air missile and that the Ukrainian government was responsible.
The report stated that the Boeing 777-200 could have been crippled by an air-to-air missile and finished off with cannon fire from a fighter jet that had been shadowing it as the aircraft plummeted to earth.
On Aug 3, ConsortiumNews.com editor Robert Parry in an article entitled ‘Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts’ reported that some US intelligence sources had concluded the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appeared that Ukrainian government forces were to blame.
Parry also cited a news report by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) investigator Michael Bociurkiw who said there were pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like very strong machinegun fire.
Hishammuddin cautioned against speculating, saying investigations were ongoing. “We are moving on from praying to demanding justice.
“This was our plane and the dead were also our loved ones. We want to get to the bottom of this and know who’s responsible but we will give time for the investigators to find the perpetrator,’’ Hishammuddin said.
On another matter, the Umno vice-president said the party had been accused of abuse of power, being corrupt and practising nepotism but these were the very things that would split up Pakatan Rakyat as apparent with the Selangor political situation.
“Our members have been patient with their accusations but now without us even politicising the matter, they showed us clearly they are the ones who are not practising what they preached.”