No distress call from downed plane, says Najib

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses reporters as Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein stands by him at the Sama-Sama Hotel near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

PETALING JAYA - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 which went down in Eastern Ukraine did not give out a distress call.

He said the flight route was declared safe by International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association stated that the airspace MH17 was traversing was not subject to restrictions.

He said that Ukranian authorities believed that the plane was shot down but that Malaysia was unable to verify this at this moment.

"If it is confirmed that the plane is shot down, then the perpetrators must be brought to justice," he told a press conference at the Sama Sama hotel in Sepang.

Najib said that he has talked to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko who pledged a full, thorough investigation into the incident.

He said that the Ukranian president had confirmed negotiations with rebels for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor.

Najib also confirmed that he had spoken to US President Obama and they had agreed that an international team should have full access to the crash site, and that no one was to move any debris including the black box.

"This is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year for Malaysia. The flight's passengers were from many nations but we are all united in grief,' said Najib.

Flight MH17 disappeared from radar screens in eastern Ukraine at around 1415 GMT, hours after the Boeing 777, bound for Kuala Lumpur, had taken off from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.