As recent research points to a new possible crash site for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, another mystery surrounding the incident has now been solved.
Just weeks before MH370 disappeared, Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah made a “mysterious” 45-minute phone call, and now one of the pilot’s relatives has come forward as the person who answered.
According to The Australian, Zulhaimi Bin Wahidin talked to Zaharie over the phone on 2 February 2014.
Zulhaimi was Zaharie’s first cousin and works as an aircraft engineer. The two men had been employed Malaysia Airlines for more than 25 years when the flight carrying 239 people went missing on 8 March 2014 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
A leaked police investigative report into MH370 in May 2014 revealed they were suspicious of the mystery phone call, as well as attempts by Zulhaimi to call Zaharie’s mobile three times after MH370 was announced missing.
Zulhaimi told The Australian that Royal Malaysian Police interviewed him “three or four” times following the disappearance of MH370 because they suspected he may have assisted Zaharie in hijacking the plane with technical assistance.
However, Zulhaimi claims he made those calls out of disbelief that the plane was missing, and said he had his cousin had kept in regular contact over the phone for years.
Zulhaimi also professed Zaharie’s innocence, telling The Australian: “They’re trying to blame him for what happened and it’s very hard for me to swallow that because he’s not that kind of a person.
“He was a jovial person. He had a lot of money. He was enjoying his life. Why would he kill himself for no reason? He had a good family and a good life. Successful children. I don’t think people are crazy (enough) to kill themself for nothing.”
Zulhaimi’s revelation comes not long after a new study suggested that MH370 may have in fact crashed in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, to the north-east of Madagascar.