10:25 GMT21 September 2020
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    TEHRAN (Sputnik) - The families of Iranian victims in the January downing of a Ukraine International Airlines aircraft near Tehran have begun filing lawsuits in connection with the incident, the Judiciary Organisation of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran said in a statement Monday.

    "Since the transfer of the case regarding the crash of a Ukrainian plane to the Judiciary Organisation of the Armed Forces, the Tehran military prosecutors’ office has conducted an accurate and verified investigation of the case. Several groups of experts are studying various aspects of this disaster and many families of the victims have contacted the organisation with lawsuits", a statement published on the organisation’s website read.

    Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba threatened Iran with "collective prosecution" if Tehran fails to come to an agreement with Kiev, as well as the other countries whose citizens were among the dead. President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that Iran must bring those responsible for the plane’s downing to justice and pay suitable compensation to the victims.

    Ukraine International Airlines’ Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 crashed on 8 January, soon after departing from Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport. Citizens of Iran, Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom were among the 176 passengers and crew who perished.

    The Iranian military subsequently admitted to unintentionally shooting down the jetliner, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile in anticipation of US retaliation to Iran's massive attack against Iraqi bases housing US military personnel. The Iranian leadership expressed deep regret, describing the tragedy as an "unforgivable mistake".

    lawsuit, plane crash, airlines, Ukraine, Iran
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