April 14, 2021

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10 indicted for Ukraine plane downing, says Iran prosecutor

Ten officers have been indicted in Iran over the 2020 army shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger airplane that killed 176 individuals, a prosecutor mentioned Tuesday, an announcement coming simply as Tehran begins oblique negotiations with the West over its collapsed nuclear cope with world powers.

The timing of the announcement comes after Iran confronted withering worldwide criticism final month for releasing a last report into the shootdown of Ukraine Worldwide Airways flight No. PS752 that blamed human error however named nobody accountable for the incident.

Of the passengers killed, 55 had been Canadian residents, 30 had been everlasting residents and 53 extra travellers had been certain for Canada, together with many Iranian college students, in addition to residents of Britain, Afghanistan, Sweden and Ukraine.

Tehran army prosecutor Gholamabbas Torki equally averted naming these accountable when he introduced the indictments Tuesday whereas handing over his workplace to Nasser Seraj. The semi-official ISNA information company and the Iranian judiciary’s Mizan information company each reported his remarks.

“The indictment of the case of the Ukrainian plane was also issued and a serious and accurate investigation was carried out and indictments were issued for 10 people who were at fault,” Mizan quoted Torki as saying, with out elaborating.

Following three days of denial in January 2020 within the face of mounting proof, Iran lastly acknowledged that its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard mistakenly downed the Ukrainian jetliner with two surface-to-air missiles. In preliminary studies on the catastrophe final 12 months, Iranian authorities blamed an air defence operator who they mentioned mistook the Boeing 737-800 for an American cruise missile.

Iran accused of ‘biased’ probe

The shootdown occurred the identical day Iran launched a ballistic missile assault on U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed a prime Iranian normal. Whereas Guard officers publicly apologized for the incident, the hesitancy of Iran to elaborate on what occurred within the incident reveals the ability the pressure wields.

Following the discharge of Iran’s last investigative report, Ukrainian Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba lambasted the findings as a “cynical attempt to hide the true causes of the downing of our passenger aircraft.” He accused Iran of conducting a “biased” probe into the catastrophe that resulted in “deceptive” conclusions.

Many on the flight deliberate to attach in Kyiv to fly onto Canada, which is residence to a big Iranian inhabitants. Canada’s overseas and transport ministers equally criticized the report, saying that it “has no hard facts or evidence” and “makes no attempt to answer critical questions about what truly happened.”

The announcement got here simply hours earlier than Iran and the 5 world powers remaining in its atomic accord meet in Vienna, the place the U.S. is because of begin oblique talks with Tehran.

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