Ontario court rules downing of Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 ‘intentional act of terrorism’ by Iran

By News Staff and the Canadian Press

An Ontario civil court has ruled that Iran committed an intentional act of terrorism when it shot down Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 in January 2020.

The ruling is on a suit filed by several of the victims’ families and unprecedented in Canadian law. In a release, the families lawyers said it is “significant for the impact it will have on immediate surviving family members seeking justice.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard fired two missiles at Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after it took off from Tehran on Jan. 8 last year, killing all 176 people on board. Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the victims.

The shootdown happened the same day Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed a top Iranian general.

In a report released in March, Iran’s civil aviation authority blamed “human error” as the reason why the passenger jet was shot down and said “the aircraft was misidentified as a hostile target by an air defence unit.”

The Canadian government has rejected the findings as insufficient, describing it as “incomplete” and devoid of “hard facts or evidence.” Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said the report doesn’t explain why the tragedy happened and it does not believe the results from the review will reduce the risk to commercial airlines operating in Iran’s airspace.

Ukrainian Foreign 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 disaster that resulted in “deceptive” conclusions.

Following international criticism of the report, Iran announced in April that 10 officials have been indicted over the incident but no names were released.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will work with international partners to demand justice and transparency on behalf of Canadian families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

Iran did not defend itself in court and the families lawyers say the next step is compensation.

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