Iran indicts 10 officials over downed Ukrainian passenger jet

written by Hannah Dowling | April 7, 2021
Commemoration of the victims of UIA Flight 752, held at Kiev International Airport (Wikimedia Commons)

Iran has officially indicted 10 officials over the Ukrainian passenger jet that was accidentally shot down by Iranian authorities in January 2020, a military prosecutor confirmed on Tuesday.

According to local news agencies, Gholam Abbas Torki, the outgoing military prosecutor for Tehran, said, “Indictments have been issued for 10 officials involved in the crash of the Ukrainian plane … and necessary decisions will be taken in court.”

No other information on exactly who is being indicted was released at the time.

It comes just weeks after Iran’s civil aviation body released its final report into the incident, in which Iran blamed a misaligned radar, as well as the personal error of an air defence operator, as the cause of the fatal event.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shortly after take-off over Tehran, in an incident labelled by Iranian authorities as a “disastrous mistake” amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US.

All 176 people onboard the aircraft were ultimately killed in the incident.

The Iranian final investigation report last month said, “The plane was identified as a hostile target due to a mistake by the air defence operator … near Tehran and two missiles were fired at it.”

The final report was heavily criticised by authorities in both Ukraine and Canada.

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Canada, which has taken a keen interest in the investigation due to many victims of the crash being Canadian, stated that Iran’s final investigation report “makes no attempt to answer the critical questions about what truly happened”, and that the report “appears to be incomplete”.

In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “tremendously concerned about the lack of accountability” from Iran about the disaster.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also critiqued the final investigation report.

“What we saw in the published report today is nothing more than a cynical attempt to hide the true reasons for the downing of our plane,” he said.

Ukraine has long suspected the crash was intentional and stated the report was merely an attempt by the Islamic Republic authorities to cover up this fact.

Minister Kuleba also said Iran’s investigation did not follow international practice, ignored evidence supplied by Ukraine and drew selective conclusions.

Prior to the release of the report, following first round talks between Ukraine and Iran into the incident, Ukraine stated it was determined to “bring Iran to justice”.

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