Iran announces arrests over the plane crash which killed 176 people

Iran announces arrests over the plane crash which killed 176 people

14 January 2020 03:44 pm

Several people have been detained in Iran over the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane with a missile, the country's judiciary says.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary, was quoted by the semi-official FARS news agency Tuesday as saying that an investigation into the crash had started and several arrests had been made. He did not provide details on how many people had been arrested or what their roles in the incident may have been.

Speaking in Tehran on Tuesday, Rouhani called for the punishment of those behind the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752.

He said a special court with "a high-ranking judge and dozens of experts" should be established in order to investigate the incident. "This is not an ordinary case and all of world is looking at us," Rouhani said.

Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 was brought down shortly after taking off from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.

Most were Iranian and Canadian citizens.

For the first three days after the crash, Iran denied that its armed forces had shot down the plane and suggested there had been a technical failure.

But as evidence mounted, the Revolutionary Guards said the operator of a missile defence system had mistaken the aircraft for a US cruise missile and fired at it.