Iran should pay compensation to families for the downing of the plane

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Associated Press)-A Canadian court ruled that Iran should pay approximately US$84 million in punitive damages to the families of six Canadian citizens or residents who shot down a Ukrainian airliner by the Iranian military in 2020.

The military used two surface-to-air missiles to shoot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, killing all 176 people on board. More than 100 Iranian victims have Canadian citizenship or residency rights, prompting some victims’ families to sue Iran in Canadian civil courts.

Last year, the Ontario High Court ruled that the Iranian military’s shooting down of a passenger plane constituted a “terrorist act” and allowed family members to bypass Iran’s legal immunity and demand compensation for damages. Foreign countries are generally not affected by litigation in Canadian courts.

In a decision announced on Monday, Judge Edward Belobaba awarded a total of 107 million Canadian dollars to families who filed suits in Ontario—in addition to 100 million Canadian dollars in punitive damages and interest, there is also 7 million Canadian dollars. Compensatory damages.

In the ruling dated December 31, Belo Baba said: “This court is very clear that damages are a bad substitute for lost lives.”

It is not clear how these families will receive compensation from Iran. But for families complaining about the lack of transparency and accountability of Iran’s investigations of its military and their inability to seek justice in Iran, the ruling is symbolic.

The family’s lawyers praised the court’s decision as “unprecedented in Canadian law.”

The crash occurred in early January 2020, when Washington and Tehran were crumbling on the cliff of war. A few hours before the shooting, Iran fired ballistic missiles at the US base in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of senior Iranian general Qassim Soleimani by a US drone in Baghdad.

After several days of denial, the Iranian Paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps publicly apologized for the shooting down and blamed it on an air defense operator. The authorities said the operator mistook the Boeing 737-800 for a US cruise missile.

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This story has been corrected to show that the award amount is 107 million Canadian dollars, not U.S. dollars.

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