News ID: 264223
Published: 0545 GMT January 11, 2020

Ukraine's president wants Iran to put on trial those responsible for plane crash

Ukraine's president wants Iran to put on trial those responsible for plane crash

Ukraine’s president demands Iran “punish the guilty” in the recent crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane, while praising Tehran’s cooperation with an “objective” investigation into the tragedy.

"We expect Iran... to bring the guilty to the courts," Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday, calling also for the "payment of compensation" and repatriation of the remains of the victims.

All the 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight died in the crash on Wednesday, when the aircraft was hit after being mistaken with a hostile cruise missile.

The victims include mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, and four British nationals, Presstv reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) had struck two American bases in Iraq in retaliation for the US’s assassination of senior IRGC Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last Friday.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic noted in a statement following the plane crash that the tragedy was caused by “human error” at a time the country was on the highest level of alert to potential American military adventurism.

Later, Head of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh accepted full responsibility for the downing of the aircraft.

Detailing the events, which led to the tragic incident, Hajizadeh likewise said that the country’s air defense networks had been placed on the “highest level of readiness” and alerted to a possible cruise missile attack prior to the incident.

He added that the operator manning the system, who had repeatedly called for a halt in flights in the region during the night, identified what his air defense system had detected as an incoming cruise missile.

The operator, as required by military guidelines then proceeded to call for orders to deal with the perceived threat, but wasn’t able to do so as his communication network failed to work, Hajizadeh said. The operator then “took the wrong decision” of firing on the perceived threat in a “ten-second” time span to shoot or ignore the flying object, he added.

The commander also said Iran’s aviation authorities had no information about the tragic incident, noting that they did not intend to cover up the issue.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on the authorities to make public all details about the downing of the plane.  Ayatollah Khamenei also called for an investigation into possible negligence that led to the incident.

Iran's Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi has also ordered an immediate probe into the crash, while President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran "deeply regrets this disastrous mistake."

Ukraine satisfied with Iran cooperation

Also on Saturday, Zelensky’s office said Tehran had handed Ukrainian experts enough data, including "all the photos, videos, and other materials" to show the investigation "will be carried out objectively and promptly." It published photos of experts examining the scene.

A day earlier, Kiev also said its experts had been granted access to the flight's black boxes, debris from the plane, the crash site, and to recordings of conversations between the pilot and the airport control tower.

Separately, Zelensky agreed during a phone call with France’s president Emmanuel Macron that French specialists would help decode the black boxes, the Ukrainian chief executive’s office added.

Macron told Zelenskiy that France had started a formal procedure to launch an international investigation into the crash, the office noted, and said the French president had also agreed to visit Kiev.

UK calls for comprehensive, transparent investigation

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, commended Tehran’s performance in the aftermath of the tragedy.

“Iran’s admission that Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by mistake by its own armed forces is an important first step,” he said.

He called for “a comprehensive, transparent and independent international investigation and the repatriation of those who died.”

“This tragic accident only reinforces the importance of de-escalating tensions in the region. We can all see very clearly that further conflict will only lead to more loss and tragedy. It is vital that all leaders now pursue a diplomatic way forward,” he added.

 

   
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Resource: presstv
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