Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Iranian military court issues verdict on 2020 shootdown of Ukrainian passenger plane 

A military court in Iran has issued a verdict for those found guilty of mistakenly shooting down a Ukranian passenger plane in the January of 2020 over the capital Tehran.

The court sentenced the first defendant to three years of imprisonment for negligent homicide that killed the passengers of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

The defendant also got maximum 10 years imprisonment for defying orders he received and due to the massive fallout from his action.

Hence, the total sentence meted out to the first defendant was 13, which will include the past 3 years of his being in custody.

The first defendant will also have to pay blood money to the families of those killed. Other defendants received jail terms ranging from 1 to 3 years for their minimal role in the “mistaken shootdown” of the airliner.

The defendants will not just be sentenced to imprisonment and they were meted out other complementary punishments as well.

Some of the plaintiffs in the case had requested the court to find other possible defendants to blame for the deadly incident, which has been granted by the military court.

The court says it will continue the investigation into the case and will take legal action against other possible culprits.

This is however a preliminary verdict and the defendants and the plaintiffs have the right to an appeal within 20 days from the date of being served the court ruling.

Meanwhile, the verdict said for each person killed in the shootdown of the airplane, a sum of $150k must be paid as a consolatory move, which will be independent of judicial proceedings and will be paid to the families of the victims.

The verdict was issued after 20 sessions of proceedings that lasted for nearly 3 years. In total, 117 plaintiffs filed lawsuits. They included 55 plaintiffs who spoke in the court sessions.

The Ukrainian airliner’s crash killed all 176 people on board. This happened shortly after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at the Ayn al-Assad Airbase in Iraq that hosted US forces back then in retaliation for the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The military personnel who fired at the passenger plane using two Tor M1 anti-aircraft missiles say they mistook the airliner for a US cruise missile.

Iranian armed forces say they were on high alert during those hours across the country and anticipated a US attack following Iran’s retaliatory missile strike at the American base in Iraq.

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