Iran killed 63 Canadians when its military shot down a Ukrainian airliner in 2020, killing all passengers aboard.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
A judge in Canada has ruled that Iran intentionally shot down a passenger airplane last year, killing 176 people, including 63 Canadians.
The court ruled that the strike was an intentional act of terrorism by Iran, The National Post reported.
Iranian forces fired two anti-aircraft missiles at the plane on January 8, 2020, blowing it out of the sky near the capital city Tehran and killing all of the passengers on board, including 63 Canadian citizens and another 75 with ties to Canada.
“The plaintiffs have established that the shooting down of Flight 752 by the defendants was an act of terrorism and constitutes ‘terrorist activity,’” Justice Edward Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court said in his ruling.
The Ukrainian Airlines jet had just taken off from the capital city of Tehran when it was hit by the missiles and crashed. Iran initially denied that its military had shot the plane down, admitting days later that a “human error” was behind the disaster.
Earlier this year, Iranian authorities claimed the plane was shot down after being misidentified as a “hostile target,” the report said. However, that claim was widely dismissed, including by the Canadian government, for failing to answer key questions as to who ordered the soldiers to open fire.
Lawyers on behalf of four families of victims are seeking $1.5 billion in damages from Iran in the lawsuit, hearings for which the Iranian government refused to attend. The court declared that Iran was “in default,” and it is doubtful the Iranian government will actually pay damages.
“We will seize and sell any Iranian assets worldwide that we can get our hands on,” said Mark Arnold, the Toronto lawyer handling the case. “Oil tankers full of oil heading to Venezuela, Gibraltar, South Korea, Thailand, Australia.
“We will invoke the assistance of any foreign court that might assist us …. It is possible to do. It takes a lot of work, but it’s possible to do,” he told the Post.
In February, Canadian officials revealed they had received a recording of what sounded like Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif talking about the possibility that shooting down the jet was intentional.
“The decision issued Thursday opens the door to an unusual legal spectacle — a civil jury of six ordinary Canadians deciding how much compensation the Middle Eastern power must pay victims of Flight PS752,” the Post noted.
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