Friday , 21 June 2024

Canada Court Says Airline Failed To Cancel Iran Flight Downed By IRGC

iranintl – A court in Ontario has found that Ukraine International Airlines failed in its duty to cancel flight PS752 in 2020 that took off from Tehran amid military activity and was downed by the IRGC killing 176.

This judgment does not absolve the IRGC from responsibility in the downing of the aircraft. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice earlier labeled the missile strike by the IRGC as “terrorist activity” and dismissed claims by Iran that the downing was a mere “human error.”

The judgement on Monday found, that despite the IRGC’s deliberate firing of two missiles at the airliner, the company could not prove that it acted according to standards to cancel the flight amid potential military activities in the early hours of January 8, 2020.

“I declare that the defendant has failed to prove, on a balance of probabilities … that the plaintiffs’ damage was not due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of the carrier or its servants or agents; or that such damage was solely due to the negligence or other wrongful act or omission of a third party,” said Justice Jasmine Akbarali on Monday.

Legal expert Paul Miller commented on the verdict, stating, “This verdict sends a strong message to international airlines that passenger safety must always be their top priority. Airlines must take proper measures to avoid operating in conflict zones.”

The judgment now means that under the Montreal Convention, UIA cannot limit compensation to $180,000 USD per passenger but must pay full compensatory damages for the fatalities, a small victory for the families of victims who are still seeking justice for Iran’s act of shooting down the plane. 

Iran failed to close its airspace during the hours when it launched the attack and was expecting a US retaliation. Later, when it was proven the airliner was downed by two IRGC missiles, Iranian officials argued that it was human error due to the tense situation prevailing in the aftermath of the attack on US bases.

The incident claimed the lives of 176 people, including 63 Canadians, 10 Swedes, and 82 Iranians. Flight PS752 was hit by two IRGC air-defense missiles shortly after departing from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.

When it was proven the airliner was downed by two IRGC missiles, Iranian officials argued that it was human error. They have also prevented an independent investigation of the incident and disclosing full details. For three days after the incident, they hid the fact that the plane was shot down, insisting that the crash was an accident.

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