In an exclusive television interview with CNN’s Richard Quest (@RichardQuest), Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says he’s prepared to release the preliminary report on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 next week, even though he refuses to declare the plane – and the 239 people on board – lost.
ON RELEASING THE PRELIMINARY MH370 REPORT
PM NAJIB: I have directed an internal investigation team of experts to look at the report, and there is a likelihood that next week we could release the report.
ON THE TURN BACK AND TRACKING THE PLANE ACROSS MALAYSIA
PM NAJIB: The military radar, the primary radar has some capability. It tracked an aircraft which did a turn back, but they were not exactly sure whether it was MH370. What they were sure of was that the aircraft was not deemed to be hostile.
QUEST: Where they tracking it on the night, at the time it was flying? Or is that an expo facto, when they went back and looked at it?
PM NAJIB: There were, I believe there was a man who was monitoring the radar screen but the interpretation was done after the event.
QUEST: So, no planes were sent up on the night to investigate?
PM NAJIB: No because, simply, it was deemed not to be hostile.
QUEST: Don’t you find that troubling that a civil aircraft can turn back, fly across the country and nobody thinks to go up and have a look? Because one of two things – I understand the threat level – either the plane is in trouble and needs help or it’s nefarious and you really want to know what someone going up there to do. So, as the prime minister, don’t you find that troubling?
PM NAJIB: You see I’m coming back to my earlier statement – they were not sure whether it was MH370.
QUEST: Even more reason to go have a look.
PM NAJIB: They were not sure. But it behaved like a commercial airline following a normal flight path.
ON WHETHER THE PLANE AND PASSENGERS ARE LOST
PM NAJIB: At some point in time I would be, but right now I think I need to take into account the feelings of the next of kin - and some of them have said publicly that they aren't willing to accept it until they find hard evidence.
PART 1: http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/04/24/mh370-malaysia-pm-najib-razak-quest-intv.cnn.html
PART 2: http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/04/24/mh370-malaysia-prime-minister-najib-razak-quest-part-2.cnn.html FULL POST
CNN's Andrew Stevens (@andrewcnn) reports from Perth, Australia on the Royal Australian Air Force search for possible debris from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Earlier today, a CNN photographer was onboard the RAAF C-130J Hercules aircraft, which was tasked with dropping data buoys into the search zone.