10 soldiers sentenced in Iran for shooting down a Ukrainian plane

Tehran, (BLAZETRENDS) occupants.

The commander who ordered the demolition of the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) was sentenced to three years in prison for the murder of the passengers and 10 more years for “ignoring the protocols” of security, reported the Mizan agency of the Judiciary.

Shot down for “ignorance” and for “mistake”

The court found that the commander shot down the plane out of “ignorance” and “mistake” by mistaking the Ukrainian flight for a “hostile” element.

The soldier, the main defendant in the case and whose identity has not been revealed, will serve 10 years in prison, the higher of the two sentences, and must also pay a fine to the relatives of the victims.

Nine other members of the country’s Air Force were sentenced to between one and three years in prison for the downing of the flight.

Mizan indicated that the court decision was reached after 20 hearings and “detailed investigations” carried out over three years.

“The study of this case has been one of the most important, sensitive and complex judicial processes in recent years in the country,” said Mizan.

Those convicted can appeal the sentences in 20 days.

Iran will also pay $150,000 to each relative of the victims, according to Mizan, who did not explain how or when this payment will be made.

Shot down with two missiles

The Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 was shot down with two missiles shortly after taking off from Tehran airport on the morning of January 8, 2020 bound for Kiev.

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On the flight were 55 Canadians and 30 Canadian permanent residents, as well as citizens of Iran, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Tehran attributed the downing to a “mistake” by one of the operators of the Revolutionary Guard’s air defense systems.

Iran claimed that its Armed Forces were on alert that day because they expected retaliation from the United States for having bombed a military base in Iraq hours earlier with US troops, an attack that in turn was in revenge for the assassination of the powerful Iranian general Qasem Soleimaní.

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