General view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran Jan. 8, 2020 is seen in this screen grab obtained from a social media video via (REUTERS)

Black box data confirms ‘illegal interference’ with downed jet, says Ukraine

The transcript of data from the black boxes of a Ukrainian passenger jet shot down by Iran on Jan. 8 confirms the fact of “illegal interference” with the plane, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister said Friday.

Ukrainian officials are waiting for an Iranian delegation to begin the first round of talks on the matter, Yevhenii Yenin said.

“Grateful to all partners who helped bring this moment closer. Black boxes from #PS752 were read out and deciphered successfully. The transcript confirmed the fact of illegal interference with the plane,” Yenin wrote on Twitter.

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday an international team examining the black boxes from the jet had completed a preliminary analysis of the data in France.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne thanked the French air accident investigation body, BEA, for completing the download and analysis of the plane’s black boxes.

“That analysis now needs to be shared promptly with the international community to ensure a complete, credible and transparent flight safety investigation,” Champagne wrote on Twitter.

Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents of Canada were among the 176 people killed when the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down by two Iranian missiles shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Jan. 8.

After initially denying any responsibility for the crash, Iranian officials were forced to admit that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps air defence unit “unintentionally” shot down the airliner amid heightened tensions with U.S. forces in neighbouring Iraq.

With files from Reuters

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