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Iran court jails commander and troops over 2020 Ukraine jet downing

Iran has sentenced 10 members of the armed forces to prison after finding them guilty of involvement in the downing of a Ukrainian airliner, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website has reported.

Mizan reported on Sunday that a commander received the heaviest penalty of 10 years in prison for having defied orders in shooting down the plane.

“Given the extent of the effects and consequences of this action, the main defendant was sentenced to the maximum penalty,” Mizan Online added on Sunday, without giving further details.

Nine other personnel were sentenced to between one and three years, Mizan reported.

The commander of a Tor M-1 surface-to-air missile system “fired two missiles” at the airliner “contrary to orders” and without obtaining authorisation, Mizan said.

It did not identify any of the accused.

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Tragic incident 

Iranian forces shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shortly after its takeoff from Tehran on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people on board.

Most were Iranians and Canadians, including many dual nationals.

Three days after the Kiev-bound plane was shot down, the Iranian armed forces admitted there had been a “mistake”.

Iranian air defences were on high alert for a US counterattack after Tehran fired missiles at a military base in Iraq that was used by American forces.

Those missiles came in response to the killing in a US drone attack in Baghdad of Major General Qassem Soleimani who headed the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In January last year, Iran said it had begun paying compensation to families of those killed.

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