Team from UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch probe Malaysia Airlines tragedy

The some of the wreckage of flight MH17

The some of the wreckage of flight MH17

First published in News

Investigators probing the flight MH17 disaster are today expected to begin examining a second black box.

An international team working in Hampshire conducted an analysis of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) from the downed aircraft yesterday.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) said examination of the flight data recorder (FDR) will begin today.

It said: ''This will show whether this recorder also contains relevant information, in which case the data from both recorders will be combined.''

The CVR was said to be damaged but with its memory module intact, while ''no evidence or indications of manipulation'' was found.

The DSB said: ''Following the examination, the CVR data was successfully downloaded and contained valid data from the flight.

''The downloaded data have to be further analysed and investigated.''

It is possible that the information from CVR handed over to the Dutch could give an indication of whether the pilots were aware of a missile coming towards the plane.

There is also the possibility that what happened in the last few seconds of the flight could be disclosed in any words the pilots were able to speak.

The FDR could give the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch team in Farnborough an indication of the differences in speed and pitch of the plane after it was, apparently, hit.

Meanwhile EU envoys are due to meet later to discuss which associates of Vladimir Putin could face sanctions if Moscow fails to comply with European demands over Ukraine.

Foreign ministers agreed on Tuesday to add what David Cameron calls the Russian president's ''cronies'' to the list of those being punished for their role in the crisis.

The UK push for intensified pressure has raised questions about continued sales of British arms to Russia and the Tories' acceptance of hundreds of thousands of pounds of donations from people critics say have links to Mr Putin's regime.

Mr Cameron, who has openly criticised France over its contract to supply Russia with helicopter carriers, was forced to defend the strength of a UK arms embargo after it emerged 251 export licences worth £132 million remained in force.

He insisted a pledge not to supply weaponry to Russian forces that could be used against Ukraine was being met but said all the deals would be re-examined to ensure there had been no breach.

The Prime Minister also denied accepting donations to the Tory party from any of the very ''cronies'' he wants targeted by sanctions after Labour highlighted almost £900,000 received by the party from prominent Russians.

Specifically he said the party would not hand back the £160,000 paid at a fundraising a auction by the wife of oligarch Vladimir Chernukhin - deputy finance minister in the first Putin administration - for a game of tennis with the PM and Boris Johnson.

Yesterday in Eindhoven, Holland, the task of unloading 40 coffins from two military planes was being completed.

Bells tolled throughout the Netherlands as the planes landed from Ukraine, with the Dutch king Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima as well as the prime minister Mark Rutte, present to see the aircraft arrive.

The coffins were taken away in hearses for an identification process that could take weeks.

Relatives of the 298 people, including 10 Britons, who died in the Malaysia Airlines tragedy were also at Eindhoven.

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