Iran Sentenced 10 Military Personnel to Prison for Downing Ukrainian Plane

Monday, 17 April 2023

Iran has sentenced 10 Iranian armed forces personnel to prison over the downing of a UIA passenger plane in 2020 that killed all 176 people on board.

Iranian outlet Mizan Online reports that the verdict in the case was handed down after approximately three years of investigation in Iran and 20 court hearings.

A commander received the heaviest penalty of 10 years imprisonment for defying orders and shooting down the aircraft. Nine other military personnel received prison terms of between one and three years behind bars. As stated, the commander of a Tor M-1 surface-to-air missile system "fired two missiles" at the airliner "contrary to orders" and without authorisation.

Flight PS752 of Ukraine International Airlines crashed on January 8, 2020 near Tehran on its way to Kyiv, killing all 176 people aboard.

Days after official denials, Iran admitted that a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had accidentally shot down the plane. That missile strike was in response to the US drone attack which killed senior Iranian military officer, Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

Most of the victims were Iranians and Canadians, but 11 of them were citizens of Ukraine.

Last year, Canada said it found no evidence of intent in the airliner downing. A Canadian court awarded $78.7 million in compensation and interest to the families of six victims.

The G7 group last year made a joint statement that Iran should be held responsible for the downing of flight PS752.

On December 28, 2022, Ukraine, the UK, Canada, and Sweden initiated arbitration proceedings regarding the downing of this passenger plane.

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