Canada Court: Iran should pay families over plane shootdown

Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was gunned down by the military with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 passengers on board

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(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

According to the Canadian Press, a Canadian court has declared that Iran must pay $107 million in compensatory damages to the relatives of six passengers with Canadian citizenship or residency who died in the Iranian military’s shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet in 2020.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was gunned down by the military with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 passengers on board. Over 100 Iranian victims possessed Canadian citizenship or residency, leading some victims’ families to file a lawsuit against Iran in Canada.

The Ontario Superior Court concluded last year that the Iranian military’s shooting down of the passenger airliner was an act of terrorism, permitting the families to demand financial compensation despite Iran’s legal immunity. In most cases, foreign governments are exempted from legal proceedings in Canadian courts.

According to the Canadian Press, Justice Edward Belobaba ordered $7 million in compensatory damages in addition to the $100 million in punitive damages, including interest, to the families who filed the complaint in Ontario.

It’s still unknown how the families will receive their damages from Iran. However, the judgement has significant meaning for relatives who have lamented about Iran’s investigation into its own military’s lack of openness and responsibility, as well as their incapacity to deliver justice in Iran.

The plane was shot down early in January 2020, as Washington and Tehran wobbled on the verge of war. In retribution for a US drone strike in Baghdad that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran fired ballistic missiles targeting American positions in Iraq just hours prior to the missile attack.

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