Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak vowed on Friday that his government would leave no stone unturned to discover the truth behind what caused Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to crash in Ukraine, even as Ukranian authorities reiterated that the plane had been shot down by Russian rebels.
Speaking as it was being reported that the Black Box of the aircraft had been found and was being sent for forensic investigations, Prime Minister Razak said if the plane had indeed been shot down, Malaysia would insist that the perpetrators be swiftly brought to justice. "No stone will be left unturned," he told a media conference at Sama-Sama Hotel here.
The Bernama News Agency quoted a sober Prime Minister Razak, as saying the aircraft's flight route had been declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and added that the aircraft with 280 passengers and 15 crew, had not made any distress call. "According to information provided by Kiev Air Traffic Control, the location of the plane's emergency locator beacon was 48 degrees 7 minutes and 23 seconds North; and 38 degrees 31 minutes and 33 seconds East," he said.
Najib said emergency operations centres had been established in relation to the tragedy, which he described as "terrible and deeply shocking". He said Malaysian officials had been in constant contact with their counterparts in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Najib said he had also spoken to the President of Ukraine and the leader had pledged that there would be a full, thorough and independent investigation where Malaysian officials would be invited to take part. "The Ukrainian president also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country, in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site," he said.
Najib also said he had had several conversations with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and would also be speaking to a number of world leaders on the tragedy. Najib revealed that he also received a call from US President Barack Obama and both agreed the investigation must not be hindered in anyway. "An international team must have full access to the crash site and no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box." he said.
Najib said Malaysia Airlines was in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew while all possible care would be provided. He said Malaysia was dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team.
The Boeing 777-200 Malaysia Airline MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10 am, Malaysian time.