'Suspects Involved In Downing Ukrainian Plane Over Tehran Face Three Years In Jail'
By Radio Farda October 23, 2020
Ukraine's Prosecutor-General is seeking a sentence of "three years in prison" for the suspects involved in the downing of a Ukrainian plane outside Tehran.
In a statement, Ukraine's Prosecutor-General's Office said that the Kyiv delegation that traveled to Tehran for the second round of talks on the downing of Ukraine International Airline (UIA) Flight 752 is prioritizing justice for the defendants in the case.
Per the statement, Iran had promised to provide Ukraine with full information about the detained defendants within a week, adding, "The Islamic Republic authorities have also promised that they would deliver the tablet belonging to one of the plane's crew by the end October. of the crew of the Ukrainian plane."
The Iranian investigation team found the tablet in the first days after the accident.
In January, the 737-800 took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini international airport heading to Kyiv when the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired two missiles at the plane. The three-year-old Boeing jet crashed near the capital city, killing all 176 people aboard.
The crash victims included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, eleven Ukrainians, ten Sweden, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons. Only after three days did the Guard take responsibility for the tragedy.
It took Iranian authorities three days to admit that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps had fired two missiles at the passenger plane.
The Iran and Ukraine joint judicial working group, formed during the first round of talks in Kyiv, carried on its discussions on October 19 during the second round of negotiations in Tehran.
Four Ukrainian delegation members led by Deputy Prosecutor-General, GÃ¼nduz Mamedov, and representatives of the Tehran Military Prosecutor's Office separately examined the criminal investigation into the downing of the Ukrainian plane.
The Ukrainian delegation also visited the crash site and commemorated the victims.
In his meeting with Iran's Military Prosecutor in Tehran, Mamedov focused on the principal areas of cooperation that will intensify the investigation, including restoring the chronology of events, conducting joint investigative actions and expert examinations, analyzing flight recorders data and records from a combat vehicle from which the shots were fired and obtaining information on the six people suspected of downing the plane.
"Acceptance of the voiced proposals will indicate Iran's readiness to cooperate and comply with international law," the press service of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine cited Mamedov as saying.
Last Wednesday, Kyiv's Ambassador to Ottawa told the Canadian news network CBC News that Ukraine is still demanding to know more about the chain of command, including how decisions were made and who is responsible for the tragedy. Ukrainian officials asked for evidence and details about the "six servicemen" Iran said it has detained in connection to the plane's downing, Shevchenko said.
According to Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine expects to receive an exact copy of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization's report on the tragedy before being released publicly by the first anniversary of the international disaster conventions.
"It's a very important piece of the investigation because it should help us to understand what happened â€” in particular, why the skies above Iran were not closed on that very tragic day," Shevchenko told CBC News.
"It will be unacceptable to see Iran punish the minor personnel without presenting a clear picture of the chain of command which led to this terrible tragedy," he said.
Over the three days of technical meetings, Ukraine learned some further details about the safety probe and the criminal investigation, Shevchenko told CBC. He added the information could not be released publicly.
"What I heard from my capital is, it was a very difficult, detailed conversation with a lot of the right words spoken," he said. "But ... we'd like to see the actions that will follow."
Meanwhile, he admitted that during the three days of negotiations in Tehran, Ukraine received further details concerning the technical and criminal investigation into UIA's doomed Flight 752.
However, he noted that the information received could not be made public.
Since January 11, the IRGC and other Iran authorities have insisted that the missiles were "accidentally" and "mistakenly" fired at the UIA's plane.
Ukraine and Canada have repeatedly rejected a report by Iran's Civil Aviation Authority stating that the UIA's three-year-old Boeing had been targeted due to human error, a mistake in radar configuration, and lack of coordination between the system operator and the Air Defense Command.
Since the first day of the downing of Flight 752, Ukraine has opened a criminal case in parallel with an independent technical investigation.
Kyiv has always criticized Tehran for refusing to cooperate constructively. Still, according to Radio Farda sources, which was also confirmed by the Ukrainian ambassador to Canada, Iranian officials' approach during the second round of talks in Tehran was "different."
The first round of talks between Ukraine and Iran took place in late July, and the next round is set for the end of November and early December.
Earlier this month, Canada announced that it would form its forensic team led by a former deputy spy chief to examine the evidence in the tragedy and advise the government accordingly.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|