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article imageSuspicions raised about co-pilot of missing plane

By Nathan Salant     Apr 14, 2014 in World
Perth - The co-pilot of a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner may have tried to make a cellphone call from the cockpit just before the aircraft disappeared.
The possibility of such a call was revealed Saturday in a report by a Malaysian newspaper that cited unnamed sources for the information, according to Reuters.
The New Straits Times said it had contacted Malaysia's acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, for comment but that he declined to say whether the report was true.
"If this happen, we would have known about it earlier," Hishammuddinn told the newspaper, saying that report had not been verified.
Malaysia's criminal probe into the disappearance of Flight 370 has been focusing on the 12-person crew of the Boeing 777 jetliner, Reuters said, since authorities say they already determined that none of the plane's 227 passengers had any links to terrorism.
The jet was being piloted by veteran Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and his co-pilot, 27-year old Fariq Abdul Hamid.
But an international team searching for the missing jet, which disappeared from radar screens more than a month ago on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, continues to come up with no traces of the plane or its passengers.
Australian officials leading the search effort believe they are closing in on where Flight 370 crashed into the Indian Ocean, more than 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, based on electronic signals they think were emitted by one or both of the plane's flight data recorders.
But they have no explanation of how the jetliner ended up so far off-course or why it lost the ability to communicate electronically with commercial or military air traffic controllers.
Malaysia's government has opened a separate investigation into why civil and military authorities failed to track the plane when it presumably was flying overhead and were unable to locate it after it vanished from radar screens, Reuters said.
More about Missing plane, Malaysia, flight 370, Kuala lumpur, Beijing
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