MH17: Nine years on, Azharuddin talks of justice

17 Jul 2023 04:04pm

SEPANG - After nine years, former Civil Aviation Department director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman says there has finally been some sense of closure and justice for the victims from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

In an exclusive interview with Sinar Daily, he said there were two cases opened on the downing of the flight; one was on the aircraft itself and the other was for criminal investigation.

Azharuddin, who was in charge at that time said unlike the previous case of missing flight MH370, people knew what had happened to the MH17.

He said investigations were headed by the Dutch Safety Board into what actually happened to the aircraft on the afternoon of July 17, 2014 in eastern Ukraine.

Investigations found that MH17 was hit by a missile, resulting in the death of 298 people on board.

Crashed and burned in eastern Ukraine, all the passengers on board, most of whom were citizens of the Netherlands, died in the crash.

A Dutch inquiry determined that the aircraft was shot down by a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

"We have sort of closure, justice for the victims. We are the first technical group that was able (to get) into the crash site that took lots of pictures there," Azharuddin said in the interview.

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He said on the criminal investigation, it was concluded that the aircraft was hit by four army men, who were prosecuted by the Dutch Court.

Three of the men were from Russia while the other one was from Ukraine.

"However, they did not turn up during the prosecution so it was prosecution in absentia," he said.

For Malaysia Airlines, it was the second disaster of 2014, following the disappearance of flight MH370 on March 8. The aircraft has yet to be found with little answers to comfort the families of the victims.