Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

Default judgment came when Iran insisted that the plane had crash-landed near Tehran in 2020 amid military tensions with the US.

A Canadian court has awarded $ 84 million ($ 107 million Canadian dollars) to the families of six victims who died when Iranian forces Ukraine International Airways flights near Tehran in early 2020.

Mark Arnold, a lawyer for the victims, announced the verdict on Monday and promised to go to Iranian assets in Canada and abroad to obtain the sentence. Judge Edward Belobaba of the Ontario High Court issued the verdict in a default judgment on Dec. 31.

Iranian forces shot down Flight PS752 after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

The Iranian government blames the incident on “human error”, saying that the plane was confused as a “hostile target” in a “disastrous error“.

Hours before the flight was shot down, Iran’s army fired missiles at US forces in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a US strike ordered by then-President Donald Trump.

Following the crash, the victims’ countries – Canada, Ukraine, the UK, Sweden and Afghanistan – teamed up to seek responses and accountability under the auspices of the International Coordination and Response Group.

But last month, the group frustration expressed with Iran, accusing Tehran of “showing no interest in meeting its international legal obligations”.

The group set a January 5 deadline for the Iranians to “confirm whether they are willing to engage in negotiations with the Coordination Group, after which we will have to accept that further efforts to negotiate reparations with Iran are useless”.

In May, a Canadian court enters into a default decision accusing Iran of intentional precipitation the plane in which it called an “act of terrorism”, which provoked an angry reaction from Tehran, which called the court’s decision “shameful”.

“Everyone knows that the Canadian court is fundamentally not competent to judge this aviation accident or possible negligence in an incident that is outside the territory and jurisdiction of Canada,” the Iranian foreign ministry said at the time.

At the end of 2020, the Iranian government announced that it would allocates $ 150,000 to each of the victims’ families.

Governments are usually protected from civil litigation abroad, but a 2012 Canadian law restricted the legal immunity of countries to its “foreign state supporters of terrorism”, including Iran.

Last week’s ruling is likely to deepen tensions between Canada and Iran.

Canada his embassy closed in Tehran and expelled Iranian diplomats from Ottawa in 2012, describing Iran as “the most important threat to global peace and security in the world”. Iran responded by calling the government of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper “extremist”.

More recently, Iran has accused Canada of politicizing the response to the fall of flight PS752.

“Canadian officials have had the most unjustified interventions since day one and have tried to prevent the natural path of this issue from being clarified,” an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said in December 2020.

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