The Iranian judiciary on Tuesday announced that they have already made arrests regarding the accidental shooting of a Ukranian commercial plane that resulted in the deaths of all 176 souls on board. The announcement comes amid continuing protests in Iran over the downing of the plane.
Initially, Iran had dismissed allegations that it was responsible for bringing down the plane but then later acknowledged its role in shooting the plane down after mounting pressure from protestors as well as new evidence. It was only on January 11 that Iran admitted that members of the Revolutionary Guard had accidentally shot down the plane.
A spokesperson of the Iranian Judiciary, Gholamhossein Esmaili told local media that intensive investigations into the plane crash had taken place and that 'some individuals' had already been arrested. He did not reveal exactly how many people had been arrested or name the individuals arrested.
President Hassan Rouhani in a speech said that a special court should be assembled comprising of ranking judges and dozens of experts. Rouhani described the incident a painful and unforgivable mistake and vowed that his administration would do everything in its power to uncover the truth.
He added that the person responsible was surely more than one person and all those found guilty should be punished. He also said that this was no ordinary case and that the whole world would be watching the case. Rouhani has called the Iranian admission of guilt with regards to shooting down the plane a 'first good step'.
On Saturday, January 11, a military statement carried by the state media said that the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned towards a “sensitive military centre” of the Revolutionary Guard. “The military was at its highest level of readiness amid heightened tensions with the US. In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.” It apologised for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such mistakes in the future. The responsible parties would be referred to a judicial department within the military and held accountably, the military said.