Kuala Lumpur, Dec 12: Former prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad said that the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 should be brought back to the country "as a matter of right", media reported on Friday.
"Malaysians should examine it in full view of the people. After all, it is Malaysia which is being sued by the relatives of the victims," The Star reported citing the former prime minister's blog post, chedet.cc.
As the aircraft belongs to Malaysia and the flight crew and many passengers on board were Malaysians, Mahathir is displeased with how the country is only "grudgingly permitted" to participate in the wreckage's examination.
He acknowledged that the highest number of passengers who lost their lives were Dutch, but wondered what law made the aircraft their property.
Mahathir also questioned the surrender of the aircraft's black box to the Dutch and British despite its initial hand-over to the Malaysian authorities.
"As far as I know, the black box contains the tape or electronic recording of the conversations and sounds some minutes before the crash." "Can it be that Malaysians have no capacity to hear the records even? Are only the Dutch and the British capable of doing this?" he said.
Mahathir also queried if there was "something to hide" with regard to the cause of the crash.
"The US knew that it was a Russian missile immediately after the news of MH17 being brought down came in. How did they identify the missile so quickly, even who fired?" he said.
Flight MH370, which disappeared in the early hours of March 8, was not far from his mind either.
"And by the way, where is MH370? Has it been pulverised into nothing as happened to the aircraft which crashed into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania?" he added.