Sunday Times Report: Flight MH370 Pilot is Prime Suspect

Sunday, 22 Jun 2014 07:32 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Malaysian police have identified the pilot of Flight MH370 as the "chief suspect" in the plane's disappearance, The Sunday Times reported.

After combing the backgrounds of all the other passengers and crew aboard, investigators have fingered Captain Zaharie Shah as the prime suspect.

There has been no breakthrough and neither mechanical failure nor terrorism have been ruled out. Police are only saying that if someone aboard the plane was responsible for its March 8 disappearance — with 239 people aboard on a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur — than the perpetrator was probably the captain.

Zaharie's defenders have denounced rumors holding him responsible for the tragedy. They insist the truth can only be known when the black box is located.

"To me he had everything in life. He had everything to lose. He is a cheerful, jovial man, a complete professional who would know what to do in a crisis," said former schoolmate Nasir Osman, the Times reported.

Police investigators, who conducted over 170 interviews were struck by the fact that the 53 year-old pilot had made neither social nor professional plans for the future.

He was purportedly estranged from his wife, though this has been denied by the family. It also struck police that on his home flight simulator he practiced landing a plane on a small southern Indian Ocean airfield.

A Malaysian police statement said: "The police investigation is still ongoing. To date no conclusions can be made as to the contributor to the incident," the Times reported.

Search teams are planning to focus on an area further south of the present suspected crash site, following further analysis of the plane's flight path, according to the West Australian.

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