Zelensky,Trudeau talk crash punishment
IRAN ANNOUNCES ARRESTS FOR DOWNING OF PASSENGER PLANE
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have discussed the need to “punish” the Iranians responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian airliner near Tehran last week that killed 176 people.
Zelensky was describing his latest conversation with Trudeau in a Twitter posting, hours after Iran announced arrests in the fatal crash. It came as Canada, Ukraine and their international allies prepared for a meeting on Thursday to push Iran for justice for the families of the people aboard the plane shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
“Our Ukrainian experts and diplomats are ready to collaborate closely with our Canadian counterparts in Tehran. I confirmed this to @JustinTrudeau once more. We will also coordinate efforts to punish those responsible for this tragedy,” Zelensky wrote.
Zelensky and Trudeau also discussed “further co-ordination of efforts to ensure proper international legal liability of those responsible for the plane crash,” according to a more detailed Ukrainian government account of their call — their third in a week.
Trudeau asked Zelensky for assistance in dealing with Iranian authorities on the identification of the bodies of crash victims, including Canadian citizens, the readout said.
“Ukrainian experts and diplomats are ready to fully assist Canadian counterparts in Tehran,” Zelensky told Trudeau, according to the readout.
Trudeau’s office, in its summary of the call, said the two “underscored the need for a full, complete and credible investigation with international participation” to provide “answers, accountability and justice that all those affected by this tragedy deserve.”
The victims included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians and nationals of Sweden, Afghanistan and Germany.
The Canadian government has said 138 of the passengers were bound for Canada. The Canadian Press has independently confirmed at least 86 victims with ties to Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.
There were few details of the specific charges announced Tuesday by an Iranian judiciary spokesman. The announcement followed a surge of angry protests in Iran over the downing of the Ukraine International Airlines plane, and after Iran denied for three days that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had shot it down.
“The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address to the Iranian people. “This is not an ordinary case. The entire the world will be watching this court.”
Rouhani called the incident “a painful and unforgivable” mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case “by all means.”