By Tim Binnall
The former prime minister of Australia, who served during the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 back in 2014, claims that the Malaysian government told him that they strongly suspected it was a murder-suicide perpetrated by the pilot of the airliner. Tony Abbott reportedly made the explosive revelation during an interview for a documentary about the case which is scheduled to air later this week. In speaking with the filmmakers behind the project, the politician left little doubt as to what he had been told by Malaysian officials.
"My understanding, my very clear understanding, from the very top levels of the Malaysian government," Abbott said, "is that from very, very early on, they thought it was a murder-suicide by the pilot." Although he was unwilling to specifically say "who said what to whom," the former prime minister stressed that "I want to be absolutely crystal clear" and strongly reiterated his assertion that "it was understood at the highest levels that this was almost certainly murder-suicide by the pilot. A mass murder-suicide by the pilot."
Although the Malaysian government publicly put forward several possibilities for what could have happened to the airliner at the time of its disappearance, Abbott indicated that none of these other scenarios were relayed to him aside from the murder-suicide theory. When asked if there was "some kind of cover-up" at work, since these alternative explanations were investigated, but apparently not seriously considered by Malaysian officials, the former prime minister stopped short of supporting that idea.
"That's not my assumption at all," he said, "I've read all these stories that the Malaysians allegedly didn't want the murder-suicide theory pursued because they were embarrassed about one of their pilots doing this. I have no reason to accept that." However, Abbott posited that if search efforts were, indeed, predicated on the idea that the pilot was not involved in the downing of the airliner, he argued that a renewed attempt to locate the plane needs to take place with the murder-suicide theory taken into consideration.
"If there is any part of that ocean that could have been reached on that basis that has not yet been explored, let's get out and explore it," he said. For their part, the Malaysian government reportedly pushed back against Abbott's remarks as Najib Razak, the country's former prime minister from the time of the airliner's disappearance, declared that "it would have been deemed unfair and legally irresponsible" to point the finger at the pilot since there was no conclusive proof that he was behind the downing of the plane. Razak also offered assurances that "this possible scenario was never ruled out during the search effort and investigations."