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Iran indicts 10 people over 2020 Ukraine plane crash

Canada decries 'lack of accountability' as military prosecutor announces indictments without naming those charged
Of the 167 passengers killed on PS752, 55 were Canadian citizens and 30 were permanent residents (Reuters)

Iran has indicted 10 officials over the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January 2020 that killed all 176 people on board, a military prosecutor said on Tuesday.

In a report published last month, Iran's civil aviation body blamed the crash on a misaligned radar and an error by an air defence operator. 

Ukraine and Canada, home to many of those who died, criticised the report as insufficient after it blamed human error but named no one responsible for the incident.

"Indictments have been issued for 10 officials involved in the crash of the Ukrainian plane… and necessary decisions will be taken in court," Gholam Abbas Torki, the outgoing military prosecutor for Tehran province, was quoted as saying by the semi-official news agency ISNA. 

He did not elaborate as to who had been charged.

'Lack of accountability'

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was "tremendously concerned about the lack of accountability" from Iran about the disaster.

Canada, along with its partners, will continue to press Tehran to deliver justice and compensation for families of the victims, he told a briefing when asked about the indictments.

Of the 167 passengers killed on PS752, 55 were Canadian citizens and 30 were permanent residents.

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight on 8 January 2020, shortly after it had taken off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport.

The Iranian government later said the incident was a "disastrous mistake" by its forces at a time when they were on high alert in a regional confrontation with the United States.

Iran was on edge about possible attacks after it had fired missiles at Iraqi bases housing US forces in retaliation for the killing days before of its most powerful military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in a US missile strike at Baghdad airport.

The indictment announcement came as Iran and the US on Tuesday launched indirect talks in Vienna over the nuclear accord which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018.