27 Mach 2014
Kuala Lumpur: 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.
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 is quoting other sources as saying a preliminary examination of a flight simulator that was seized from the home of the pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah has 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 Captain 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 have found no connection between Captain 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, they believe.
The newspaper pointed out that Captain Zaharie was a firm supporter of the current regime’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.
Captain 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.
The official quoted by US Today said there was nothing amiss in Captain Zaharie’s finances to suggest he did something drastic for money.
And the official was quoted as rejecting reports in British media that Captain 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.