May 29, 2023

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Iran issues final verdict on Ukrainian plane incident

TEHRAN – An Iranian military court on Sunday released its final verdict on the case of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 which was downed near Tehran due to a “human error” in January 2020, Mehr reported.

After more than three years of studies and holding a total of 20 trial hearings in which a total of 117 plaintiffs filed their lawsuits, 55 of the plaintiffs spoke and read out their complaints, and 20 lawyers represented the plaintiffs, the second branch of the Tehran military court issued the verdict.

The verdict was issued after the relevant judicial authorities conducted a thorough investigation into the case in the prosecutor’s office and the court, based on statements and reports of military and judicial officers, forensic medical reports, receiving scientific and expert opinions of expert panels, international research, statements of informants and experts and plaintiffs and defendants’ defenses.

The court found as many as 10 people guilty in the deadly incident, with the main defendant being sentenced to 13 years in prison. The main person who is charged is the commander of the Tor M1 defense system, who mistook the passenger plane for an invading cruise missile and shot the plane twice contrary to the order of the command post and other instructions. 

The other persons who have been found guilty are the personnel of the air defense post.

The incident happened at a time of heightened tensions during a regional confrontation with the United States.

The downing of the passenger plane, which was flying from Tehran to Kiev, took place on the night that Iran fired missiles at a U.S. air base in western Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the IRGC Quds Force.

The assassination took place on January 3, 2020. Five days later, on January 8, Iran responded to the assassination.

Most of the passengers were Iranians.

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