TEHRAN (Dispatches) - Judiciary’s spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili said on Tuesday that a number of arrests have been made in connection with the recent downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, which killed all 176 on board.
The spokesman said special commissions had been set up by the General Staff of the Armed Forces to investigate the tragedy.
"Thorough investigations have been launched and a number of individuals have been arrested,” said the official, without specifying exactly how many people were in detention.
The Judiciary Organization of the Armed Forces has been tasked with probing the data on the aircraft’s black boxes with the help of experts from the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran as well as electronic warfare professionals, the spokesman said.
Esmaili further noted that efforts would be made to shed light on all dimensions of the incident and to ensure that justice is served.
The official said that many individuals had already been interrogated as part of the probe, and that documents and evidence were being collected.
President Hassan Rouhani also in a ceremony honoring activists, producers in agricultural sector in Tehran, said: "All those responsible for the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran should be brought to justice, urging that a special tribunal be appointed to hear cases and try all those involved.”
The Ukrainian jetliner tragedy is not an ordinary case, which requires that the Judiciary set up a special court presided by a supreme judge to look into the issue with the help of the most professional experts in the field, President Rouhani suggested.
The Ukraine International Airlines’ Flight 752, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranian and Iranian-Canadian passengers, crashed minutes after take-off near the capital Tehran early on Wednesday, killing all 176 on board.
In their initial assessments, Iranian officials attributed the crash to technical failure and dismissed the possibility of the plane having been shot down by missiles.
However, after conducting a thorough investigation, Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces released a statement on Saturday, acknowledging that the Ukrainian plane had been brought down by a missile fired "unintentionally” due to "human error.”