Iran ‘ignoring Ukraine’s requests and violating agreements,’ say prosecutors
Iran is ignoring Ukraine's requests and violating prior agreements made regarding the case of the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS725 in early 2020, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has said.
Deputy Prosecutor General Maksym Yakubovskyi claimed that Iran did not provide Ukrainian prosecutors with an opportunity to examine the materials of the criminal case, which have already been sent to court, and continues to carefully conceal the names and positions of the accused persons and their actions.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS725, flying the Tehran-Kyiv route, was shot down on Jan. 8, 2020, minutes after it took off from Tehran International Airport. All 176 people on board were killed, including 11 Ukrainian crew members. Most of the victims were citizens of Iran and Canada.
On the fourth day after the disaster, the Iranian government officially acknowledged that the aircraft had been shot down by its military, which had mistakenly taken it for a hostile target.
The flight records from the downed flight confirmed that the aircraft had been hit by two anti-aircraft missiles.
According to the records, the first missile caused significant damage to the aircraft, but the engines did not shut down immediately, giving pilots a chance to try to and maintain control of the aircraft. However, the impact from the second missile destroyed the plane.
Iran insists that the plane crash occurred due to a mistake made by an air defense operator, and not by the order of the country's military leadership. Ukraine has officially stated that it does not agree with this opinion, and requested admission to the investigation, as well as monetary compensation.
Ten Iranian officials were accused of involvement in the destruction of the UIA aircraft, but Tehran has not disclosed their names and positions.
Despite this, Yakubovskyi has stated that the Ukrainian side is moving forward with criminal proceedings and Canada, the United Kingdom, and Sweden, which also lost citizens in the disaster, are helping the prosecutor's office in this case. Eight reports have been examined so far in the case, four of which are Iranian. Both prosecutors and the Ukraine’s SBU security service continue to collect evidence from available sources.
The prosecutor added that over 50 people have so far been interrogated in the case, and more than 100 expert examinations have conducted on photo and video evidence. A comprehensive forensic examination is also ongoing.
On Dec. 16, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Iran is obligated to, by Jan. 5, 2022, confirm its participation in negotiations with the International Coordination and Response Group for Compensation for Damage for the downed UIA aircraft.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News