FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ontario Court Rules Shoot Down of Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 an Intentional Act of Terrorism
Toronto, Canada – May 20, 2021
In a Decision (available here) released, May 20, 2021, Justice Edward Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that:
The shooting down of Flight 752 by the defendants (Islamic Republic of Iran) was an act of terrorism and constitutes “terrorist activity” under the SIA (State Immunity Act ), the JVTA (Justice For Victims of Terrorism Act) and the provisions of the Criminal Code.
On January 8, 2020, the Islamic Republic of Iran fired two missiles into Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 departing Tehran enroute to Kiev causing the aircraft to crash. Approximately 75 Canadians were killed.
The plaintiffs are some surviving family members who lost spouses, children, nieces and nephews. They filed a private law Claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against the Islamic Republic of Iran and others responsible for the disaster.
Iran was validly served with the claim on September 2, 2020 but failed to and was Noted in Default on December 21, 2021.
The Default Judgement Decision is restricted to liability. A subsequent court hearing will take place to determine compensation.
The family members allege that the shooting down of the aircraft was an intentional act of terrorism under the laws of Canada and that they should be permitted to sue Iran in Canada despite sovereign immunity laws.
In 2012, the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and the State Immunity Act were amended to permit such claims to be brought against foreign states designated as state sponsors of terrorism. Canada designated the Islamic Republic of Iran as such a state.
This Decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is unprecedented in Canadian law. It is significant for the impact it will have on immediate surviving family members seeking justice.
The International Centre for Human Rights invites you to an on-line press conference on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 10:00 AM. Family members and the legal team will be present.
Legal Team Contact:
Mark Arnold – Counsel
Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP
416 363-2614 Ext 231
Jonah Arnold – Counsel
Weinman Arnold LLP