Canadian officials are pledging to be “relentless” in their pursuit of justice for the victims and families of downed Flight 752 as they mark 100 days since the crash that killed all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadians.
The Ukraine International Airlines flight from Tehran to Kyiv was brought down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile shortly after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini International Airport on Jan. 8.
“On behalf of the government of Canada, we extend our deepest condolences to the families grieving this terrible tragedy. We grieve with you,” Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said in a joint statement.
“This tragedy touched all Canadians. As we solemnly remember the victims of this crime, we will be relentless in the pursuit of justice for them and their families.”
In a separate statement, the governments of Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom – the countries that had citizens on board the downed aircraft – vowed to “advocate for full accountability, transparency, justice, compensation, and a full, independent and transparent investigation, to help families seek closure as they continue to grieve.”
Last week, Canada and other countries that make up the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 asked Iran to delay the much-anticipated download and analysis of flight recorders recovered from the wreckage of the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800.
The pandemic affects in the investigation
Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said he had invited representatives from eight countries to travel to a laboratory in Europe to start the process, but had to postpone because of the travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kathy Fox, chair of the Transportation Safety Board, said countries want their own representatives to attend the download in person.
“As such, the download and analysis of the recorders should be delayed until conditions improve enough to allow for safe travel,” she said in a statement last week. “At this point, it is not possible to predict when that might happen.”
Former Liberal cabinet minister named special adviser
The Trudeau government recently announced the appointment of veteran Liberal politician and former Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale as special adviser to Canada’s response to Flight 752.
Goodale is expected to meet with the victims’ families this week.
With files from Ashley Burke of CBC News