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Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Black boxes to be sent to Britain for forensic analysis, says Liow

Published on Jul 23, 2014 9:21 AM
Members of the media take pictures as a pro-Russian separatist places black boxes belonging to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on a desk, before their handover to Malaysian representatives, in Donetsk on July 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The international investigation team has decided to pass the black boxes from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 to the United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch for forensic analysis, said Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

He said it was a normal procedure for black boxes to be sent for analysis to the nearest laboratory authorised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

"The black boxes will therefore be flown to Farnborough, United Kingdom, accompanied by Malaysian experts and other members of the international investigation team," he said in a statement late Tuesday.

The international investigation team is led by The Netherlands.

Mr Liow said this decision was reached following the agreement between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and separatist commander Alexander Borodai.

"Following the agreement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak brokered with rebel leaders (in eastern Ukraine), Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis," he said.

Malaysia on Monday had secured agreement for the release of the victims' bodies and MH17's black boxes, as well as for international investigators to have access to the crash site in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine handed over the two black boxes found at the crash site to the Malaysian investigation team on Tuesday.

Flight MH17, with 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board, was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine last Thursday.

The plane is believed to have been shot down.