Lawsuit filed in Malaysia over missing flight MH370 | News | DW | 31.10.2014
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Lawsuit filed in Malaysia over missing flight MH370

The family of a businessman who was a passenger on missing flight MH370 has sued the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines for damages. The flight disappeared from the radar in early March.

Two Malaysian boys aged 13 and 11 have sued the government and Malaysia Airlines for negligence in the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, in what is believed to be the first lawsuit filed over the disaster. The suit was filed by lawyers on Friday on behalf of the two sons of Jee Jing Hang, who was on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight.

"Our clients are after the truth. We have confidence in our judiciary system that this suit will be heard and dealt with fairly," a statement issued by the family's legal team said.

The family of the missing businessman has sued Malaysia Airlines for breach of contract, saying the airline failed in its contractual responsibility to deliver Jee to his destination. They are also suing Malaysia's civil aviation authorities, immigration department and the air force for negligence.

Governmental shortcomings?

The complaint also stated that the government did not try to establish contact within a reasonable period of time after fight MH370 disappeared from the radar, and that the immigration department failed in its duties by allowing passengers with fake identification documents to board the plane.

Gary Chong, a lawyer for Jee's relatives, said the family would seek damages but declined to specify a figure. The passenger on the missing flight earned a monthly income of 16,865 ringgit (4,073 euros, $5,120) from an Internet shop that he owned, according to the complaint.

Bad luck and bad business

MH370 inexplicably disappeared on March 8 with 239 people aboard while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in what remains one of history's great aviation mysteries. Malaysia's government has said it believes the flight diverted to the far southern Indian Ocean, citing sketchy satellite data, but no trace of the missing plane has yet been found.

Neither the government nor the airline has revealed any results from investigations launched in the aftermath of the tragedy, and the governments of Malaysia, Australia and China are continuing the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Some next-of-kin have accused the government and the airline of a cover-up, charges that both have denied.

MH370 was the first of two flights that Malaysia's national air carrier lost this year. MH17 crashed in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine in July, killing all 298 people on board. The aircraft is believed to have been shot down, but it is not clear by whom. Since the two plane crashes, Malaysia Airlines has since run into major financial problems and a state-linked investment fund has directly taken over the airline as part of a rescue plan.

dj/pfd (AFP, dpa)

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