Former Australian and Malaysian prime ministers at odds over MH370 air tragedy – dpa international

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Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arriving at Kuala Lumpur High Court on February 10 2020 for one of his ongoing corruption trials (Simon Roughneen)

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak arriving at Kuala Lumpur High Court on February 10 2020 for one of his ongoing corruption trials (Simon Roughneen)

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday that there is “no proof” that the pilot of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was responsible for the unexplained disappearance of the aircraft in 2014.

Najib was reacting to comments by former Australian premier Tony Abbott, who said in a TV documentary about MH370 that “my understanding – my very clear understanding – from the very top levels of the Malaysian government is that from very, very early on here, they thought it was a murder-suicide by the pilot.”

Abbott, who was Australia’s prime minister at the time of the flight’s disappearance, did not name any officials in the recording, which will air on Australian TV on Wednesday evening.

In comments on his personal Facebook and carried in local media, Najib said that it was unfair to blame the pilot “unless and until a black box and cockpit voice recorder were obtained.”

Several unsuccessful searches for the aircraft have been carried out on the floor of the southern Indian Ocean, though debris from the aircraft has washed up on several locations along the east African coast.

In March 2014, when the aircraft disappeared, the Malaysian government was led by Najib. He is now on trial on multi-billion dollar corruption charges.

Lim Kit Siang, a leading member of the Democratic Action Party, one of the four governing coalition parties, demanded that members of the former government “speak up” about Abbott’s claims and called for an international inquiry into the flight’s disappearance.

Two-hundred and thirty-nine people, including six Australians and 50 Malaysians, were onboard the aircraft when it disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 6, 2014, in what remains one of aviation’s most haunting mysteries.

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