Russian-backed separatists turn over black boxes to Malaysia
DONETSK, Ukraine–Malaysian officials received the two MH17 black boxes from the Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.
Representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) handed over the black boxes to Malaysian government representatives at the rebel headquarters Tuesday morning.
The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in rebel-held territory, and the separatists are being blamed for shooting it down by much of the international community, including the United States.
Both parties were seen signing documents during the turnover ceremony.
The DPR then produced a white sack containing the black boxes and showed them to the Malaysian officials.
The boxes were inspected and later accepted by the Malaysian officials.
The black boxes could offer vital clues on how the attack unfolded. The cockpit voice recorder would record the bang of a missile. The data recorders, which register altitude and position, would be able to tie that information to the timing of a known missile launch in the area.
“You can effectively backtrack and give a relatively high degree of confidence in the location where that missile took off from,” said a Manchester, England-based aviation industry consultant, Chris Yates. “If that location happens to be in rebel-held territory, which we all suspect it is, that would be the first point where you could point the finger of blame.” With Associated Press
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