Boeing 737-800 Reg.No. UR-PSR was shot down by the Iranian military / REUTERS

Several relatives of passengers killed in the downing of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS752 by the Iranian military in January 2020 have filed a lawsuit against Iran in a federal court in Washington, D.C.

This is announced in a statement by the law firm Herischi & Associates, which will provide legal support for the case, the Ukrainian-registered European Pravda news outlet reported.

The lawsuit was initiated by relatives of several U.S.-born victims of the crash against the Iranian government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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They are accused of failing to protect the lives of civil aviation passengers, concealing facts, hiding and destroying key evidence. It is noted that the lawsuit was prepared in coordination with other similar claims against Iran.

"The plaintiffs hope that this case will be an effective step to hold the perpetrators accountable. Unfortunately, the families of the victims have no confidence in the proper investigation into this incident by those who caused it and also have no confidence that the Iranian judicial system is able to administer justice," the law firm said in its announcement issued in Persian.

It is noted that Ukraine as a state is negotiating with Iran along with other countries whose citizens died on board the downed plane, but it cannot prevent relatives of the killed Ukrainians from filing such claims if they want to do so.

It is legally impossible to file a personal claim and expect compensation following the results of negotiations at the state level at the same time.

PS752 downing in Iran: Background

  • On January 8, 2020, Kyiv-bound Boeing 737 passenger jet flight PS752, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, crashed in Iran shortly after takeoff from Tehran Airport.
  • All 176 people on board, including 11 Ukrainian nationals – nine crew and two passengers – were killed. Among victims are also citizens of Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK.
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted that the Ukrainian liner had been shot down as a result of an unintentional "human error," and promised to bring those responsible to justice.
  • On June 9, media reports said Iran had accused six persons in the PS752 downing case.
  • On July 20, flight recorders were delivered to Paris and decrypted on July 21.
  • On July 24, it was reported that data from the black boxes had confirmed external interference with the aircraft's operation.
  • On July 29-30, Kyiv hosted the first round of negotiations with Iran regarding compensation to relatives of the PS752 victims.
  • On July 31, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba briefed on three major achievements of the negotiations with the Iranian delegation on compensations. In particular, Iran joined in the negotiation process to establish all the circumstances of the disaster, to bring all those responsible to justice and handle all necessary payments. Iran also agreed to fulfill all its obligations under international conventions in the field of aviation. At the same time, there is no answer yet to the question of the size of the compensation.
  • At the talks on October 19-20, the Ukrainian delegation plans to hear a detailed explanation by the Iranian side as to what were the causes behind the downing of the plane and who would be held accountable for the incident.