Police search co-pilot's home in missing Malaysia plane probe

KUALA LUMPUR Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:11am IST

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Police investigating the disappearance of a Malaysian passenger jet more than a week ago have searched the home of the co-pilot, a senior official said, after the prime minister said the aircraft had been deliberately flown way off course.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday that the investigation would refocus on the crew and passengers of Flight MH370, after confirming that someone aboard appeared to have shut off the plane's communication systems before turning it away from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

A senior police official with knowledge of the investigation said special branch officers had searched the home of 27-year-old First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid on Saturday evening.

Hours earlier, police had searched the house of the aircraft's 53-year-old captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

"We are not ruling out any sort of motivation at the moment," the police official said.

The Malaysia Airlines MASM.KL Boeing 777-200ER vanished in the early hours of March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard.

(Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Writing by Alex Richardson. Editing by Dean Yates)

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