Canadian Court awards $90m compensation to relatives of UIA Flight PS752 victims

4 January 2022, 12:42 AM

A court in Ontario, Canada, has awarded CAD 107 million (around $90 million), plus interest, in damages to the families of six people who died when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down in Iran two years ago, Canadian public broadcaster CBC said on Jan. 3.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down the Boeing 737-800 on Jan. 8, 2020, just after it took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. None of the 176 people on board the flight survived. Most were Iranian and Canadian citizens, and 11 were Ukrainians.

Represented by Mark Arnold, the families of six of the victims of the tragedy filed a civil lawsuit against Iran and other officials they believe were to blame for the plane being shot down.

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Justice Edward Belobaba of Ontario's Superior Court of Justice awarded CAD 100 million in punitive damages to the victims’ families, in a decision dated Dec. 31. The same decision also awarded CAD 7 million to family members for “pain and suffering.”

If Iran ignores the ruling, the plaintiffs will seek to seize Iranian assets in Canada and abroad to pay the damages they are owed, Arnold said.

It was only on Jan. 12, 2020 – four days after Flight PS752 went down – that the Iranian government took responsibility for the tragedy, saying that the plane was misidentified as a hostile target.

Salvaged flight recorders have confirmed the plane itself was operating nominally, and only failed after being hit with two anti-air missiles.

The first missile did not cause critical damage to the aircraft: Its engines were still running, and the crew made efforts to maintain control. But Flight PS752 was destroyed shortly afterwards by the impact of a second missile, the transcripts of the flight recorders’ data show.

Iran claims there was no order issued to take down the plane from their military high command, suggesting that an error by a rank-and-file Anti-Air Defense operator led to the catastrophe. Ukraine has rejected this version of events, and is continuing to demanding full access to the Iranian side of the investigation, as well as damages.

A joint statement filed in December 2021 by International Coordination and Response Group, consisting of Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Ukraine, has accused Iran of continuing to ignore its “international legal obligations” in negotiating reparations for the flight’s victims.

Iranian authorities have also refused to reveal the identities of ten Iranian officials that have been charged in relation to the downing of PS752.

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