Russian report on Sinai plane crash referred to Egypt's prosecutor-general

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Mar 2016

Egypt’s independent investigations committee referred on Thursday an official Russian report to the prosecutor-general on the plane crash in Sinai in October 2015 that killed all 224 on board

FILE - In this Sunday provided by Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, Egyptian Military on cars approach a plane's tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt. Egypt Nov. 1, 2015 (AP)

An official Russian report suggesting that “criminal activity” was behind the deadly crash of a Metrojet in central Sinai in October 2015 was referred to the prosecutor-general by Egypt’s independent investigations committee on Thursday.

“As part of the ongoing collaboration between the countries participating in the investigation – notably Russia and Egypt – the committee received on 14 March 2016 an official report from Russia’s official investigation,” the statement from the investigations committee said.

“After studying the report – which suggested that suspected criminal activity is possible – the committee has referred the matter to the attorney-general of Egypt,” the head of the committee Ayman Elmokadem stated.  

The Russian airliner crashed in Egypt's central Sinai on 31 October killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members. The Metrojet was on its way from Sharm El-Sheikh airport in South Sinai to St Petersburg, Russia.

Egypt formed an independent committee to investigate the causes of the crash and allowed Russia and other countries such as France and Ireland to take part in the probe, though no official and final report has yet to be issued by Cairo.

The Kremlin said on 17 November that a bomb ripped apart the Russian passenger jet and promised to hunt down those responsible.

Hours after the crash, the IS group released an online statement claiming it was responsible for downing the flight, saying that it had smuggled a bomb on board the plane after discovering a "way to compromise the security" of Sharm El-Sheikh airport.

“The committee is continuing to investigate the technical history of the aircraft – including its service record and repairs that were carried out on its structure, as well as its system and engines – since the date of its production,” the statement explained.

"The committee is still waiting on a number of documents from countries participating in the investigation. Given the aircraft was manufactured in May 1997, this detailed process is very time consuming," the statement added.

"The committee will continue with its technical investigation while at the same time it will be prepared to provide any assistance to the attorney-general," the statement said.

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