Zahid Raza, Honorary Consul of Malaysia, has been shot dead in Madagascar whilst delivering “damning” new evidence discovered during his investigation into missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, carrying 239 people, on a flight to Beijing and Mr. Raza was leading an official investigation into its mysterious disappearance on behalf of the Malaysian Government when he was killed driving his car.
Other investigators claim he was delivering newly recovered parts of the jet to government officials that provided shocking new evidence that would “blow the investigation wide open”.
Raza was gunned down in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, off the southeast coast of Africa, and he car was raided by his killers, but it is believed that he wasn’t in possession of the evidence when he died.
Some reports claim that he had already passed the evidence to government officials before he was killed, but US lawyer Blaine Gibson, who has been retrieving suspected pieces of the doomed Malaysian Airline’s jet washed up on the shores of Madagascar, said Raza had been due to deliver newly-found items to Malaysian investigators when he was killed.
US lawyer Blaine Gibson says Raza had been due to deliver newly-found items to Malaysian investigators when he was killed.
According to reports, investigator Gibson said two pieces of “possible MH370 aircraft debris” were handed over to Madagascar authorities on August 16.
He added on his blog: “For the protection of those involved we decided not to make this report public until the debris was safely delivered to Malaysia.
“However tragic events have intervened. Under the agreement between the two countries, debris is supposed to be collected by Hon. Zahid Raza, the Honorary Malaysian Consul in Madagascar, and delivered by private courier to Malaysia.”
On August 24 the Hon. Zahid Raza was assassinated in Antananarivo. The debris is still safely in the hands of the Madagascar Authorities. However new arrangements must be made for the collection and delivery of debris.”
The aircraft, which was carrying 239 people, disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China. A huge search operation lasted three years, covered thousands of miles of ocean and unearthed only a few small fragments of wreckage.
According to The Sun, an original member of the team of specialists that helped try to find the aircraft’s crash site said he was suspicious of the timing of Raza’s assassination.
Dr. Victor Iannello said in a blog: “Last December, Reuters reported that Mr. Raza assisted Blaine Gibson in transferring the custody of pieces believed to be from MH370 from Madagascar to Malaysia. At that time, six pieces were transferred.
“This has raised questions as to whether there was a link between those MH370 parts and Mr. Raza’s death.”
What makes a possible link to MH370 even more suspicious is that in the time period surrounding his death, Mr. Raza was expected to visit the Malagasy Ministry of Transport, retrieve additional recovered pieces, and deliver those pieces to Malaysia.”
Local Madagascar news website Zinfos974 said that Raza may have been assassinated over his alleged part in the kidnapping of a number of members of the Indo-Pakistani Karens community in Madagascar in 2009.
But Dr. Iannello said it was not clear whether Raza had ever been convicted of any such crime.Three years on from the disappearance of MH370, all that has been found of the stricken jet is a few pieces of debris, washed up on beaches from the southern tip of South Africa to the east coast of Tanzania, 3,000 miles further north.
Three pieces have been confirmed as being from the plane, but a number of others are “almost certainly” from the stricken jet and yet more items are seen as being “likely” pieces of the aircraft.
Seven have been named as “almost certainly” part of the aircraft, while six have been labeled ‘highly likely’, and two have been called ‘likely’ part of the plane.
Two other items are under evaluation to see if they are part of the aircraft.
After a huge search operation yielded little in the way of concrete information about the disappearance of the jet, the hunt was abandoned in January.
Search crews completed their deep-sea search of a desolate stretch of the Indian Ocean without finding a trace of the plane.
And since no technology currently exists that can tell investigators exactly where the plane is, that effectively means the most expensive, complex search in aviation history is over.
Investigators recover debris believed to be from missing flight MH370
WHAT HAPPENED TO MH370?
DID THE PILOT HIJACK HIS OWN PLANE?
Pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah planned mass murder because of personal problems, locking his co-pilot out of the cockpit, closing down all communications, depressurizing the main cabin and then disabling the aircraft so that it continued flying on auto-pilot until it ran out of fuel.
That was the popular theory in the weeks after the plane’s disappearance. His personal problems, rumors in Kuala Lumpur said, included a split with his wife Fizah Khan, and his fury that a relative, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, had been given a five-year jail sentence for sodomy shortly before he boarded the plane for the flight to Beijing.But the pilot’s wife angrily denied any personal problems and other family members and his friends said he was a devoted family man and loved his job.
This theory was also the conclusion of the first independent study into the disaster by the New Zealand-based air accident investigator, Ewan Wilson.
Wilson, the founder of Kiwi Airlines and a commercial pilot himself, arrived at the shocking conclusion after considering ‘every conceivable alternative scenario’.However, he has not been able to provide any conclusive evidence to support his theory.
The claims are made in the book ‘Goodnight Malaysian 370’, which Wilson co-wrote with the New Zealand broadsheet journalist, Geoff Taylor.
It’s also been rumored that Zaharie used a flight simulator at his home to plot a path to a remote island.
However, officials in Kuala Lumpur declared that Malaysian police and the FBI’s technical experts had found nothing to suggest he was planning to hijack the flight after closely examining his flight simulator. And there are also theories that the tragic disappearance may have been a heroic act of sacrifice by the pilot.
Australian aviation enthusiast Michael Gilbert believes the doomed plane caught fire mid-flight, forcing the pilot to plot a course away from heavily populated areas.
IF NOT THE PILOT, WAS THE CO-PILOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MYSTERY?
Co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, again for personal problems, was suspected by rumor-spreaders to have overpowered the pilot and disabled the aircraft, flying it to its doom with crew and passengers unable to get through the locked cockpit door.
Theorists have put forward the suggestion that he was having relationship problems and this was his dramatic way of taking his own life.
But he was engaged to be married to Captain Nadira Ramli, 26, a fellow pilot from another airline, and loved his job. There are no known reasons for him to have taken any fatal action.
Others have suggested that because he was known to have occasionally invited young women into the cockpit during a flight, he had done so this time and something had gone wrong.
Young Jonti Roos said in March that she spent an entire flight in 2011 in the cockpit being entertained by Hamid, who was smoking.
Interest in the co-pilot was renewed when it was revealed he was the last person to communicate from the cockpit after the communication system was cut off.
DID THE RUSSIANS STEAL MH370 AND FLY THE JET TO KAZAKHSTAN
An expert has claimed the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was hijacked on the orders of Vladimir Putin and secretly landed in Kazakhstan.
Jeff Wise, a U.S. science writer who spearheaded CNN’s coverage of the Boeing 777-200E, has based his outlandish theory on pings that the plane gave off for seven hours after it went missing, that was recorded by British telecommunications company Inmarsat.
Wise believes that hijackers ‘spoofed’ the plane’s navigation data to make it seem like it went in another direction, but flew it to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is leased from Kazakhstan by Russia.
However, Wise admits in New York Magazine that he does not know why Vladimir Putin would want to steal a plane full of people and that his idea is somewhat “crazy”.
Wise also noted there were three Russian men onboard the flight, two of them Ukrainian passport holders.
Aviation disaster experts analyzed satellite data and discovered – like the data recorded by Inmarsat – that the plane flew on for hours after losing contact.
Careful examination of the evidence has revealed that MH370 made three turns after the last radio call, first a turn to the left, then two more, taking the plane west, then south towards Antarctica.
MH370 WAS USED BY TERRORISTS FOR A SUICIDE ATTACK ON THE CHINESE NAVY
This extraordinary claim came from 41-year-old British yachtsman Katherine Tee, from Liverpool, whose initial account of seeing what she thought was a burning plane in the night sky made headlines around the world.
On arrival in Thailand’s Phuket after sailing across the Indian Ocean from Cochin, southern India with her husband, she said: ‘I could see the outline of the plane – it looked longer than planes usually do.
There was what appeared to be black smoke streaming from behind.’Ms. Tee’s general description of the time and place was vague and she lost all credibility when she later stated on her blog that she believed MH370 was a kamikaze plane that was aimed at a flotilla of Chinese ships and it was shot down before it could smash into the vessels.
Without solid proof of the satellite data, she wrote on her blog, Saucy Sailoress, the plane she saw was flying at low altitude towards the military convoy she and her husband had seen on recent nights. She added that internet research showed a Chinese flotilla was in the area at the time.
THE JET LANDED ON THE WATER AND WAS SEEN FLOATING ON THE ANDAMAN SEA
On a flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur that crossed over the Andaman Sea on March 8, Malaysian woman Raja Dalelah, 53, saw what she believed was a plane sitting on the water’s surface.
She didn’t know about the search that had been started for MH370. She alerted a stewardess who told her to go back to sleep.’I was shocked to see what looked like the tail and wing of an aircraft on the water,’ she said.
It was only when she told her friends on landing in Kuala Lumpur what she had seen that she learned of the missing jet. She had seen the object at about 2.30pm Malaysian time.She said she had been able to identify several ships and islands before noticing the silver object that she said was a plane.
But her story was laughed off by pilots who said it would have been impossible to have seen part of an aircraft in the water from 35,000ft or seven miles.Ms. Raja filed an official report with police the same day and has kept to her story.
“I know what I saw,” she said.
THE AIRCRAFT SUFFERED A CATASTROPHIC SYSTEMS FAILURE AND CRASH-LANDED ON THE OCEANA
catastrophic event such as a fire disabling much of the equipment resulted in the pilots turning the plane back towards the Malaysian peninsula in the hope of landing at the nearest airport.
Satellite data, believable or not, suggests the aircraft did make a turn and theorists say there would be no reason for the pilots to change course unless confronted with an emergency.
A fire in a similar Boeing 777 jet parked at Cairo airport in 2011 was found to have been caused by a problem with the first officer’s oxygen mask supply tubing.
Stewarts Law, which has litigated in a series of recent air disasters, believes the plane crashed after a fire – similar to the blaze on the Cairo airport runway – broke out in the cockpit.
After an investigation into the Cairo blaze, Egypt’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Central Directorate (EAAICD) released their final report which revealed that the fire originated near the first officer’s oxygen mask supply tubing.
The cause of the fire could not be conclusively determined, but investigators pinpointed a problem with the cockpit hose used to provide oxygen for the crew in the event of decompression.
Following the 2011 fire, US aircraft owners were instructed to replace the system – it was estimated to cost $2,596 (£1,573) per aircraft. It was not known whether Malaysia Airlines had carried out the change.
If either pilot wanted to crash the plane, why turn it around? So the turn-around suggests they were trying to land as soon as possible because of an emergency.
THE US SHOT DOWN THE AIRCRAFT FEARING A TERROR ATTACK ON DIEGO GARCIA
The Boeing 777 was shot down by the Americans who feared the aircraft had been hijacked and was about to be used to attack the U.S. military base on Diego Garcia atoll in the Indian Ocean.
So conspiracy theorists claim. And former French airline director Marc Dugain said he had been warned by British intelligence that he was taking risks by investigating this angle.
There is no way of checking whether Dugain received such a warning or why he believes the Americans shot down the plane. But adding to the theory that the aircraft was flown to Diego Garcia, either by the pilot Zaharie or a hijacker, was the claim that on the pilot’s home flight simulator was a ‘practice’ flight to the island. Professor Glees said: “The Americans would have no interest in doing anything of the kind and not telling the world.
“In theory, they might wish to shoot down a plane they thought was attacking them but they wouldn’t just fire missiles, they’d investigate it first with fighters and would quickly realize that even if it had to be shot down, the world would need to know.”
Mr. Rosenschein said: “The U.S. would not have been able to hide this fact and in any event, if it were true, they would have admitted their action as it would have prevented a successful terrorist action on this occasion and acted as a deterrent for future terrorist attacks.”