The authorities have now turned to the FBI for help in recovering the deleted data from the simulator.
It was revealed that some data was deleted from the simulator on February 3, about a month before the ill-fated flight vanished.
"The experts are looking at what are the logs, what has been cleared," said Tan Sri Khalid Bin Abu Bakar, the inspector-general of the Malaysian police. If recovered, the data may throw light on the disappearance of the plane, providing definitive information on whether the pilot was involved.
Evidences suggest that the dramatic diversion of the air route by the plane and the ACARS and the transponder being shut off could be pre-planned.
Even when there is no concrete proof to blame Zaharie for this, investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the pilot may have rehearsed the incident several times before the flight with the help of his flight simulator.
True, that any aviation enthusiast (like Zaharie) would have one and the deletion may be nothing more than a routine housekeeping of no importance, but officials are not leaving any scope of doubt pertaining to the whereabouts of the plane.
Hishammuddin Hussein, the Malaysian defense minister and acting transportation minister, emphasized that "the passengers, the pilots and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise."
Meanwhile, US lawmakers are wondering why FBI has not been involved in solving the case from the beginning.
A small team of FBI officials in Malaysia have been receiving briefings about the case, but were never asked to help in the inquiry. The US investigators, however, have been given access to the passenger details for investigations in possible terror links, which did not yield any result (reports NDTV.com).