Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Iran media confirms arrests made over downing of Ukraine jet

The comments come after a senior politician claimed no one should be held accountable and praised the job of the country's military

After claims by an Iranian MP that no one should be held accountable for the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran in January, a second parliamentarian has pushed back and pointed to arrests already being made.

An official from the Islamic Consultative Assembly was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency confirming arrests were made after the incident after a member fo the body's judicial committee claimed that no one had been or should be held accountable.

Iran initially denied downing Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on January 8, but later admitted to the incident.

“After announcing the details of the shooting incident on the Ukrainian plane, as previously announced, several people have been arrested and a court case has been filed for these people," Tasnim quoted an official from the Islamic Consultative Assembly as saying. “The judiciary has taken action and is examining the case." He called on officials to not spread speculation and opinion about the case but only relay the facts of the matter.

The report did not disclose who or how many people had been arrested or what they had been charged with.

It comes days after Hassan Norouzi, a member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly's Judiciary Commission, told an Iranian newspaper that he believed the military had done a good job in the case and that no one needed to be held accountable. He appeared to suggest the fact the aircraft had previously flown to Israel had a connection to the decision by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to shoot it down.

The government laid the blame on an air defence officer who made a bad judgment call but Ukraine, the US, Canada and others have questioned the narrative and called for a transparent investigation.

But the country’s coronavirus outbreak that has so far infected more than 58,000 people and killed 3,600 has hampered the investigation.

The Iranian government also refused to hand over the plane's flight recorder. Few labs around the world have the tools for this kind of analysis and crash recorders are usually sent to labs overseas.

Updated: April 6, 2020 02:49 PM

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