MH370 families 'deserve the truth'

PUTRAJAYA: The man leading the international safety investigation team into Flight MH370 says the best way to honour the victims' families is for him to find out the truth.

But Datuk Kok Soo Chon knows that "this is easier said than done" since the team, which is represented by seven countries, faced an arduous task without any tangible wreckage to analyse.

There is also the possibility that the plane may not be found by the time the 120,000sq km underwater search comes to an end, after which the team may have no choice but to release the findings of its autopsy without having the body.

This was why he said the team was holding off its report on the probe, a move which he understood would be unbearable for the next-of-kin who were desperate for answers.

"If we cannot complete our job in one year, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annexe 13 says we have to inform the public every year in an interim statement.

"This is to assure the public that we have not forgotten about this case. We are still investigating," he said, after releasing a televised statement on the second-year anniversary of MH370's disappearance.

He said that the 600-page factual report released last year and yesterday's statement were by no means meant to provide answers to what could have happened to the plane.

"That will come in our interim report or our final report, with our analysis to prevent such incidents from occuring.

"We are planning to release it in a few months. It could be five months; it could be 20 months. But under ICAO, we will have to release it," he said.

A tipping point could come in July, when the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean is expected to end.

If the search is successful, Kok said his team could finally get to work to uncover the truth.

But if it didn't, the compulsory final report would still have to be released, he said "though without the aircraft, you may never be able to determine for sure what happened. But the final report is still a must."

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