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Malaysia

Appellate court orders Malaysia Airlines to release MH370 documents to kin

A woman looks at messages of support left for family members and passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur March 18, 2014. — Reuters picPUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 — The Court of Appeal today upheld a High Court order compelling Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) to provide documents on flight MH370 which went missing en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, to the 76 next-of-kin of the passengers who were on board.

This followed a decision by a three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat which unanimously dismissed the appeal by MAS to set aside the High Court order made on Sept 8 last year.

“We find no compelling or substantive reason to disturb the High Court order which was discretionary in nature,” she said.

She also said that there was no error in the High Court judge’s exercise of discretion.

The panel, which included Justices Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli and Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof, also ordered MAS to pay RM10,000 in costs.

The 76 next-of kin of the passengers were plaintiffs in a suit filed in March last year against MAS, Malaysian Airlines Berhad (MAB), the Director General of Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), Royal Malaysian Air Force and the government, for alleged negligence and breach of duties.

They comprised 66 Chinese nationals, eight Indian nationals and two Americans.

They are seeking 37 documents, including communications, correspondence, document and other materials, notes, memoranda, internal documents, investigators reports, in relation to MH370 flight.

In the suit, they are also seeking among others, special, general and aggravated damages, mourning expenses, interests and other relief deemed fit by the court.

The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing bound flight carrying 239 passengers and crew was declared missing after disappearing from the radar screen on March 8, 2014.

Lawyer Saranjit Singh represented MAS, while senior federal counsel Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi represented DCA, Royal Malaysian Air Force and the government.

Lawyer Tommy Thomas appeared for the family members of the passengers. — Bernama