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MH17 black boxes handed to Dutch investigators

Malaysian officials have handed over the black boxes from flight MH17 to Dutch lead investigators of the crash in rebel-held Ukraine, the Netherlands government said.

THE HAGUE: Malaysian officials have handed over the black boxes from flight MH17 to Dutch lead investigators of the crash in rebel-held Ukraine, the Netherlands government said.

"The black boxes from flight MH17 have been handed over by Malaysian experts to the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) that is leading the international investigation," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The black box data recorders from the flight, allegedly brought down by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists on Thursday, were handed over in Kiev and will be sent to Farnborough in Britain for the data to be downloaded.

"Experts from several countries, including the OVV, will travel with the black boxes to Farnborough to help with the investigation," the ministry said.

The black boxes, which record aircraft systems data and cockpit voices, could prove crucial to the probe into the crash and will be brought to Britain by a Belgian military aircraft.

Exceptionally, the Dutch are in charge of the investigation, because Kiev does not have authority over the rebel-held crash site.

Separatists on Monday handed over the black boxes to Malaysian authorities, who brought them to Kiev.

The bodies of the 298 people who died on the Malaysia Airlines flight, 193 of them Dutch, have still not been repatriated from the war-wracked area, with some expected to arrive by plane in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

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