Beijing Court due to Begin Compensation Hearings for MH370 Victims

Relatives of passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 walk to the Foreign Ministry in Beijing on March 8, 2019. Relatives gathered and demanded to speak with senior representatives of the Foreign Ministry on the fifth anniversary of the plane's disappearance on a flight between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. / AFP / GREG BAKER

Beijing, China - A Beijing court was on Monday due to begin compensation hearings for the families of Chinese victims who died on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared nearly 10 years ago.

The jet vanished on March 8, 2014, carrying 239 people -- mostly from China -- en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Hardly any trace of the plane was found in a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led operation, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January 2017.

Some pieces of debris have been picked up across the Indian Ocean.

Jiang Hui, whose mother was on flight MH370, wrote on social media this month the court hearings would begin Monday at Beijing's People's Court in Chaoyang district and continue until mid-December.

Beijing's state-run China Daily has also reported the hearings, citing Jiang. The hearing was not listed on the court's public website.

Families of the victims, as well as media, gathered outside the court on Monday morning, AFP reporters saw.

A US exploration firm launched a private hunt for MH370 in 2018, but it ended after several months of scouring the seabed without success.

The disappearance of the plane has long been the subject of a host of theories -- ranging from the credible to outlandish -- including that veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had gone rogue.

In 2016, Malaysian officials revealed the pilot had plotted a path over the Indian Ocean on a home flight simulator but stressed this did not prove he deliberately crashed the plane.

A final report into the tragedy released in 2018 pointed to failings by air traffic control and said the course of the plane was changed manually.

But they failed to come up with any firm conclusions, leaving relatives angry and disappointed.



© Agence France-Presse

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