PETALING JAYA: In the latest turn of events surrounding the MH370 mystery, an Australian daily claims the Malaysian Honorary Consul in Madagascar responsible for handing over the debris to Malaysian authorities was assassinated.
Australian daily Perth Now quoted wreck hunter Blaine Gibson as saying the new debris finds were to be handed over to Houssenaly Zahid Raza and delivered by private courier to Malaysia.
However, the report claimed Houssenaly was assassinated on Aug 24, before he could carry out his task.
“For the protection of those involved, we decided not to make this report public until the debris was safely delivered to Malaysia,” Gibson was quoted as saying.
Houssenaly’s death was acknowledged by the foreign ministry on Aug 30. However, no details were provided on the cause or circumstances surrounding his death.
In a statement, Wisma Putra conveyed its condolences and said Houssenaly was first appointed Malaysia’s Honorary Consul in Madagascar in December 2013 for a three-year term.
“Based on his excellent performance in safeguarding and promoting Malaysia’s interests in the republic, the Malaysian government renewed his contract for the post for another three years until December 2019,” the ministry said.
In the Perth Now report, a representative of the Independent Group, a team of aviation and mathematical experts following the disappearance of MH370, said the timing of Houssenaly’s death was “suspicious” as he had been expected to visit the Malagasy transport ministry to retrieve the debris and deliver it to Malaysia.
Noting that Houssenaly had been of French Malagasy nationality, the representative added that the alleged assassination had been met with “stony silence” from both French and Malaysian authorities.
According to Gibson, the debris is still with Madagascar authorities but new arrangements must be made for the collection.