UNITED NATIONS, January 21 (Itar-Tass) – Russia has received the flight recorders from the Mi-8 helicopter that was shot down in South Sudan, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said.
“The handover has taken place. Everything is fine,” he said on Monday, January 21.
Churkin said the flight recorders have already been sent to Moscow, accompanied by South Sudanese officials and representatives of the Nizhnevartovskavia airline, which owned the helicopter.
The helicopter, which operated under contract with the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, was shot down on December 21, 2012. Four Russians died. South Sudanese officials admitted that the helicopter had been shot down by the military even though they had been duly informed about the flight.
Initially, the flight recorders were supposed to be handed over to Russia on January 14 but the South Sudanese authorities had suddenly changed their mind, saying they had to take a look one more time at the transfer procedure.
U.N. experts were sent to the country last week to carry out an inquiry in addition to the investigation conducted by the South Sudanese authorities.