Thursday, March 03, 2016

Sister Says Don't Make Missing Flight 370 Pilot The Fall Guy

Kuala Lumpur: Time has not eased the pain for the family of Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the senior pilot of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Nearly two years after the plane disappeared, they must cope not only with his loss but with the theory that he was to blame.

Allegations that he was a jihadist, or suicidal over a marital breakup, or that he doomed the aircraft in a political protest do not square with his family's memories of a kind, generous and happy man, his eldest sister said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

The "rogue pilot" theory has been a focus of investigations after the Malaysian government said the plane was deliberately steered off course, but authorities have found no evidence linking Zaharie or his co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, to any wrongdoing.

"When the search (for the plane) revealed nothing, they came back to this theory, but it's only a theory," said Zaharie's sister Sakinab Shah. "If you have nothing tangible and nothing by way of evidence, it's tantamount to predicting he is guilty until proven innocent. This sets us back in the Dark Ages."

She said it was "very convenient" to make Zaharie the scapegoat to absolve the airline from claims or protect the Malaysian government from possible cover-ups and U.S. airline manufacturer Boeing from losing business.
03/03/16 AP/NDTV
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