The photographs were displayed when Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar revealed the identity of one of the dubious passengers as 19-year-old Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad. But closer scrutiny of the still image of Pouria taken from surveillance footage and handed out to the media showed that it was a combination of his upper torso stapled over the legs of a second Iranian identified yesterday by Interpol as Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, 29.
The discovery had led to allegations that the images were manipulated using photo editing suite Photoshop, but closer inspection suggests the superimposition was physical. It is unclear why authorities opted to combine parts of Pouria’s image with Delavar’s that were captured when both were passing through a security checkpoint at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on their way to board the still-missing MH370 flight.
The use of a stolen Austrian passport by Pouria and an Italian’s by Delavar had earlier fuelled suspicion of foul play in the plane’s disappearance, but authorities are now leaning towards the conclusion that they were only trying to smuggle themselves into Europe.
Investigation over the missing Beijing-bound airliner with 239 onboard has been marred by repeated incidents of apparent contradictions from authorities. -