MIAMI – Iran’s Military Prosecutor has indicted ten unidentified officials who are thought to have had a role in the fatal 2020 Ukraine International Airlines (PS) crash. Tehran Military Prosecutor Gholam Abbas Torki, also said that the ten officials “will head to court soon.” No precise timetable was mentioned.
This was also confirmed by Shokrollah Bahrami, head of the Military Judicial, which indicated that the case was set for the court and trial should begin during the new Iranian year beginning on March 21.
According to major global news outlets, the final investigation report released by Iran received a cold welcome from Ukraine Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, who deemed the report a “biased probe into the disaster that resulted in deceptive conclusions.”
Canadian Foreign and Transport Ministers also made critical comments on the investigative report, particularly on the lack of “hard facts or evidence” and for “not making any attempt to answer critical questions about what truly happened.”
On January 8, 2020, Ukraine Airlines flight PS752, operated by a Boeing 737-800, takes off from Tehran-Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA) at 06:12 local time with 176 persons onboard – 9 crew members and 167passengers – destined to Kyiv (IEV).
Passengers are both Ukrainian and Canadian and 138 of them expected to connect flights in IEV for onward travel to Canada. At 06:14, signals from ADS-B – a position reporting device – are lost and the Boeing 737 crashes at about 20km west of Tehran.
At first, the aircraft was indicated as having crashed following an engine fire and subsequent loss of control. The first to air the possibility of a missile attack was the Jordanian newspaper Al Hadath with confirmation by flight security experts.
A few days later, Iranian military authorities recognized that the accident was due to a “human error” from launch operators which mistook flight PS752 as a military threat, firing two surface-to-air missiles downing the Boeing 737.
Featured image: Ukraine Airlines Boeing 737-800 UR-PSP – Photo : Alberto Cucini/Airways