MH17 black boxes will go to UK for analysis, says Malaysian minister

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Black boxes from the Malaysian jetliner downed over eastern Ukraine will be sent to a lab in the United Kingdom, said Malaysia's deputy transport minister on Tuesday.

"The procedure is to have the black boxes sent to the nearest lab that is authorized by the ICAO for analysis," Aziz Kaprawi told Reuters, referring to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The two black boxes are now in the possession of Malaysian authorities after Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered a deal late on Monday with eastern Ukraine's separatists leader to hand over evidence that could shed light on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last Thursday.

Aziz said that the black boxes would travel to a lab under the Air Accidents Investigations Branch in the U.K.

A Belgian Air Force jet was already heading towards Kiev on Tuesday afternoon to collect the boxes. A Belgian defense ministry spokesman said it should deliver them to Britain in the evening.

The Malaysia Airlines plane crashed last Thursday while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, and a ground-to-air missile is suspected of bringing it down.

(Reporting By Trinna Leong, additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by John Stonestreet, Larry King)