Sunday, March 16, 2014

Missing Airline Pilot Was A Political Fanatic: Attended Trial Of Jailed Opposition Leader 7hrs Before Takeoff

An image has emerged of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet wearing a T-shirt with a 'Democracy is Dead' slogan as it has been revealed he could have hijacked the plane in an anti-government protest.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a father-of-three, was said to be a 'fanatical' supporter of the country's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim - jailed for homosexuality just hours before the jet disappeared.

It has also been revealed that the pilot's wife and three children moved out of the family home the day before the plane went missing.

It comes as FBI investigators say the disappearance of MH370 may have been ‘an act of piracy’ and the possibility that hundreds of passengers are being held at an unknown location has not been ruled out.

Officials also revealed that it is possible the aircraft could have landed and transmitted a satellite signal from the ground. If the plane was intact and had enough electrical power in reserve, it would be able to send out a radar 'ping'.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was an ‘obsessive’ supporter of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim. And hours before the doomed flight left Kuala Lumpur it is understood 53-year-old Shah attended a controversial trial in which Ibrahim was jailed for five years.

Campaigners say the politician, the key challenger to Malaysia’s ruling party, was the victim of a long-running smear campaign and had faced trumped-up charges.

Police sources have confirmed that Shah was a vocal political activist – and fear that the court decision left him profoundly upset. It was against this background that, seven hours later, he took control of a Boeing 777-200 bound for Beijing and carrying 238 passengers and crew.

Zaharie is believed to be separated or divorced from his wife although they share the same house, close to Kuala Lumpur’s international airport. They have three children, but no family members were at home yesterday: only the maid has remained there.

Meanwhile, military radar showed the jet climbed to 45,000ft – above its service limit – which could have been a deliberate attempt to knock out the passengers and crew.

Zaharie joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981. He became a captain about ten years later  and has clocked up 18,360 hours of flying experience.

“The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25,