UK & World News

  • 10 April 2014, 19:30

'Everyone Remains A Suspect' On Flight MH370

MI6, the CIA and Chinese intelligence officials are still trying to find out what happened to missing flight MH370, Sky News has been told.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's defence minister and acting transport minister, admitted that mistakes had been made in the way relatives had sometimes been treated.

But, during a lengthy interview, he defended his country's handling of what he described as an "unprecedented situation without benchmark".

Talking to Sky News in a Kuala Lumpur city centre hotel, he said the criminal investigation remains live.

"Everyone on board remains under suspicion as it stands," he said.

"As we look into the black box, we look into new facts. It isn't just MI6 involved in the investigation, it is Chinese intelligence, it's also the FBI.

"I've asked them to re-intensify their investigations, just as we did with the radar data."

On what work MI6 has helped with, he explained: "The whole passenger manifest, the FBI looked at the simulator, that will all come out later.

"I find it difficult to say more without jeopardising the investigation. The truth will prevail."

The Malaysian government has been criticised by the media and international onlookers over the last five weeks.

It has certainly been an event the likes of which the country has never experienced before. Mr Hussein admitted lessons had been learned.

"I'm not saying MAS (Malaysia Airlines) handled it perfectly," he said.

"We have to deal with family members who are trying to grapple with it. And sometimes people are not sensitive, including the Malaysian government, including MAS."

He insisted the Chinese relatives who demonstrated outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, and then later in Kuala Lumpur, did not represent all the family members:

"I know there are families who are really not happy with how things are going and we try to manage it," he said.

"But at the same time there is also the other side of the coin where other people have been dealing with their grief in a different way."

"I can only do my best. I can only tell you what I know. But the problem with the families is that the one question they want to know I don't have the answers to just yet, which is: Where are their loved ones? Where is the plane?"

It remains unclear who will take possession of the black box once it is found.

It could be the Malaysian government, the American National Transportation Board, British Air Accident Investigations Branch, or perhaps a multi-national group.

But the belief is that the Australians have found the location of the missing plane, although they are yet to retrieve any wreckage.

"I think it is the black box and I hope it is the black box, but if not I will still not give up," Mr Hussein said.

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