Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Says Taking Crashed Plane Black Boxes Abroad Criminal
MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) – Taking the Malaysia Airlines passenger airplane's flight recorders outside Ukraine would be considered a crime, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
"The on-board flight recorders should remain in Ukraine," the director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's department of consular service, Andrii Sybiha, said.
"Their removal across the border would be criminal," Sybiha said.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the town of Torez in the Donetsk Region on Thursday, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
Rescue workers allegedly recovered two black boxes from the airplane Friday. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said early in the day that one flight recorder from the plane had been found by local militia who might take it to Russia in an attempt to 'hide all traces.' The second black box recovery was later reported by Reuters, citing an eyewitness.
Kiev blamed independence supporters in the turbulent Donetsk region for downing the passenger plane with a surface-to-air missile. Militia forces said they had no missile systems that could hit a target flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of supplying arms to resistance forces in the east of Ukraine, although there has been no evidence to this effect.
Ukrainian authorities, Malaysia Airlines are investigating the incident with several international agencies, with the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), Interpol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expected to join.
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