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Ahad, 16 Mac 2014


The father-of-three was a fervent supporter of Anwar Ibrahim - jailed for homosexuality only hours before the Malaysia Airways jet disappeared.

The pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is pictured in a T-shirt with a Democracy is Dead slogan as fears emerge he could have hijacked the plane as an anti-government protest.

Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a fervent supporter of his country's opposition leader who was jailed for homosexuality - illegal in Malaysia - only hours before flight MH370 vanished with 239 passengers and crew on board, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

And in a new twist, it emerged that the pilot's wife and three children moved out of the family's home the day before the plane's disappearance.

For all the latest on the disappearance of flight MH370 follow our live blog.

The revelations came after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday confirmed the Boeing 777 jet was deliberately diverted from its planned route between his country's capital Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

Investigators said trackers aboard the plane, which transmit its location to air traffic controllers, were disabled moments after take-off last Friday.

And the airliner could have flown on for seven hours after vanishing from radar over the South China Sea.

Police raided the pilot's home in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

They spent two hours at the gated property and left carrying small bags believed to contain evidence.

They also found that the experienced pilot, who has worked for Malaysia Airlines since 1981, had built a Boeing 777 flight simulator inside.

But his friend Peter Chong insisted Capt Zaharie, 53, would be "the last person" to hijack the aircraft.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I would trust that man with my life. He loves people and being involved in something like that would hurt people. I would not believe he was involved in any way at all. If I went on a plane and was allowed the choice of a pilot, I would choose Captain Zaharie."  

Mr Chong last saw his friend a week before the jet vanished. He said the two had agreed to meet up this week and that the pilot had been "his normal, cheerful self".

But now he has become a focus of the police investigation.

They would have sent up aircraft to investigate. If it's gone south there's nothing there until you hit Antarctica."

Boeing 777s need a runway up to a mile long to land, making it unlikely it touched down safely on a remote Asian strip.

"I can't think which airfield it would be - and what would they do with the passengers?" said Mr Learmount.

Malaysian authorities have been criticised for keeping the possibility of a hijack secret for eight days.

Mr Learmount said their "total incompetence is unforgivable", and created more agony for families desperate for news.

Malaysian PM Razak said yesterday: "We can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system was disabled just before it reached the east coast of peninsular Malaysia.

"Shortly afterwards the aircraft's transponder was switched off.

"From this point onwards, the Royal Malaysian Air Force primary radar showed an aircraft believed to be MH370 did indeed turn back. It then flew in a westerly direction back over peninsular Malaysia before turning north west.

"These movements are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane."

Live: Pilots' homes searched as investigators say missing Malaysia Airlines plane was 'deliberately diverted'

Officials have started looking into the lives of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid in the hope of finding further clues

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