Iran publishes photos of closed hearing on aircraft downing


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Iranian state media on Monday released photos of the trial investigating the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in 2020 by the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards in an attempt to quell criticism of the largely closed case.

Mizan News Agency, a branch of the country’s judiciary, showed pictures from inside the military courtroom of at least one man and woman holding up pictures identified as victims of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. Missile attacks killed all 176 people on board the January 3, 2020 flight.

But online people reacted angrily to the picture of a judge sitting in front of a large sign that euphemistically read, “The court is looking into the incident involving flight PS752 Ukraine.” They asked the court to state clearly that it did Airplane had been shot down by the guards.

State-run IRNA news agency said the trial, which began Sunday, will bring 10 suspects to justice. Iranian media failed to identify the accused, and people’s faces were blurred in some photos published by Mizan.

An association of the victims’ families also criticized the hearing and said in a Facebook post that they “do not recognize the court”.

After three days of rejection in January 2020 amid mounting evidence, Iran finally admitted that the Guard mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian jet with two surface-to-air missiles. In preliminary reports of the disaster last year, the Iranian authorities blamed an air defense operator who mistook the Boeing 737-800 for an American cruise missile.

The downing took place the same day Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on US forces in Iraq in retaliation for an American drone attack that killed a top Iranian general. While police officers publicly apologized for the incident, Iran’s reluctance to elaborate on what happened in the incident shows the power wielding power.


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