MH370 pilot 'responsible for flying off course'

LINDSAY MURDOCH
Last updated 07:57 28/03/2014
mh370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
MH370 PILOT: Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
mh370 pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah.
MH370 CO-PILOT: First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid.

Relevant offers

Investigators believe the pilot of MH370 was solely responsible for flying the plane hundreds of kilometres off course, an American newspaper has quoted a high-ranking Malaysian police officer as saying.

The latest report comes as Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's son insists his his father was not the kind of man who would hijack a plane.

"I've read everything online. But I've ignored all the speculation. I know my father better," 26-year-old Ahmad Seth told the New Straits Times, an English-language newspaper in Malaysia.

Read more: Search gets boost

According to the report in the USA Today, the unnamed officer also told the newspaper there was no evidence of a mechanical failure or hijacking by a passenger.

The claims could not be verified by Fairfax Media, while Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, has urged people to consider all those on board innocent until proven otherwise, including the pilots.

CNN has quoted other sources as saying a preliminary examination of a flight simulator that was seized from the home of the pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah found nothing suspicious.

USA Today quoted the unnamed investigator, who the newspaper claimed had been on the case since the beginning, as saying police believe Zaharie "deliberately" redirected the plane.

The investigator was quoted as saying of those on board the flight, only the captain possessed the experience and expertise to fly the plane.

The newspaper quoted the official as saying investigators found no connection between  Zaharie, 53, and any militant groups, and the 27-year-old co-pilot on the flight did not have the experience to manage such a diversion.

The newspaper pointed out that Zaharie was a firm supporter of Malaysia's main opposition, and his flight left on the day that the party's leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was sentenced to five years in prison on sex crimes his supporters say are fraudulent.

Zaharie's friends and opposition MPs angrily rejected any link between his political leanings and the plane's disappearance, after such claims were first aired by a British newspaper.

Ad Feedback

The official quoted by USA Today said there was nothing amiss in Zaharie's finances to suggest he did something drastic for money.

And the official was quoted as rejecting reports in British media that Zaharie received a phone call moments before the flight was to depart from a woman who used a false name to obtain a mobile phone SIM card to make the call.

He was quoted as saying as far as investigators knew, he did not receive a call on his mobile phone at that time.

- Sydney Morning Herald

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should April Miller be allowed to play in the presidents grade rugby competition?

Yes, if she can keep up with the other players, why not?

No, it's against the rules and it's not safe for her

Vote Result

Related story: Southland woman banned from men's rugby side

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Social Media
The Southland Times on Facebook

Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.

Digital edition

Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.

Click here to read our free community newspapers from around the region.

Community newspapers

Click here to read our free community newspapers from around the region online.

Southland Times subscriber news and information.

Subscriber services

Southland Times subscriber news and information.

Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.

Advertise

Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.