Iran media says arrests made over downing of Ukraine jet

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The government initially denied shooting down Flight 752 but later admitted what happened

People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran on January 8, 2020. All 176 people on board were killed. AFP

Emergency workers work near the wreckage of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, a Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport. Reuters

Debris is seen from a plane crash on the outskirts of Tehran. AP Photo

Part of the fuselage. Reuters

One of the engines. Reuters

Debris is seen scattered across a field. AP

Debris is seen from a plane crash on the outskirts of Tehran. AP Photo

The Ukraine foreign ministry confirmed all crew and passengers were killed. AP Phoyo

Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the company was aware of media reports of a plane crash in Iran and was gathering more information. AP Photo

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The National

April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020

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Iran made several arrests over the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran in January, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

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."

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. 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 01:42 PM

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