Transport Ministry to verify MH370 interim statement

Transport Ministry to verify MH370 interim statement
Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry will carry out an analysis to verify the factual information contained in the Interim Statement on the missing MH370 flight.

Its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he had ordered his ministry to immediately review the statement.

"We are taking this seriously and will take the appropriate action once the facts have been analysed," he said in a statement yesterday.

He added that this was important especially in the aspect of civil aviation protocol.

The Interim Statement was released by an independent international investigation team - the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team - on Sunday in conjunction with the 1st anniversary of the tragedy.

Liow stressed that the investigation panel of aviation experts only gathered facts involving the MH370 flight.

The Interim Statement and factual information, he said, was not an analysis of the cause of the aircraft's disappearance.

"In no manner does the data indicate why and how the plane went missing," he said.

Liow said the independent investigation team was appointed to ensure the factual information and analysis conducted was transparent and complete.

Head of the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team Datuk Kok Soo Chon has clarified that a "report" was different from a "statement", in reference to the Interim Statement on MH370.

He said while he understood that everyone wanted a "report" which would contain facts, analysis, conclusion and recommendations, such information would only be available in the "final report".

As such, the investigation team could only release the "statement" and "factual information" according to chapter 6.6 and 5.28 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation on Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation.

The two documents released on Sunday did not amount to a report, he stressed.

He said that there was no provision for an interim report but only an interim statement under Annex 13.

A final report would only be released when the investigation was completed, and until then, there would only be interim statements every March 8.

When asked when a full report could be expected, Kok said that one possibility would be after retrieval of the black box of MH370 and the time needed would depend on the complexity of the process.

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