Indictments have been filed against “ten of the officials who had a role” in the deadly downing of a Ukraine International flight over Tehran last year, according to a military prosecutor.
Gholam Abbas Torki said the individuals – whom he did not name or otherwise identify – would go to court soon, but he did not include a timeline, during a ceremony on Tuesday to introduce his successor.
Torki announced in January 2020, shortly after Flight PS752 was shot down by two missiles fired from an IRGC air battery, that ten people had been subjected to disciplinary measures, including dismissals or demotions, and that they will be put on trial soon.
On Tuesday, Shokrollah Bahrami, the head of the judicial organization of the Iranian armed forces, announced that the military court had completed the case and that indictments had been signed.
“Inshallah, the case will be followed up in court in the new year,” he said, referring to the Iranian new year that began on March 21.
Flight PS752 was shot down six minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 people on board, according to Iran. It was the result of a horrific “human error,” according to Iran.
In retaliation for the assassination of its top general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike ordered by then-US President Donald Trump, the IRGC launched a barrage of missiles at two US bases in neighboring Iraq four hours earlier.
A TOR M-1 surface-to-air missile defense system near the airport had not been recalibrated after being relocated shortly before the incident, according to Iran’s final technical report on the downing of the aircraft, which was released last month. It mistook the plane for a “hostile target.”
All flights to Iraq and all flights scheduled to fly over the western parts of the country were also canceled, according to the study, but the possibility of commercial flights and flights out of Imam Khomeini airport being misidentified was deemed low.
“Ultimately, it can be concluded that the evaluated risk was not proportionate to existing realities and an error that was not calculated in predictions beforehand took place,” the report by the Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran said.
Ukraine and Canada, both of which lost several people in the crash, slammed the study, with the former calling it a “cynical effort to conceal the real reasons for our plane’s downing.”
The Iranian government set a $150,000 payout for each of the 176 victims’ families in January.