A court says Iran must pay $US107 million to families of Canadians killed in a plane shootdown.

Canada says Iran should pay over shootdown

The military’s shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 with two surface-to-air missiles killed all 176 people on board.

Over 100 of the Iranian victims had Canadian citizenship or residency, prompting some families of the victims to sue Iran in Canadian civil court.

Last year, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the Iranian military’s downing of the passenger plane constituted an “act of terrorism,” allowing the families to bypass Iran’s legal immunity and seek compensation for their losses.

Foreign nations are ordinarily immune from suits in Canadian courts.

In a decision made public on Monday, Justice Edward Belobaba awarded $US7 million in compensatory damages on top of $US100 million in punitive damages, plus interest, to families that launched the suit in Ontario, the Canadian Press reported.

“This court well understands that damage awards are a poor substitute for the lives that were lost,” Belobaba said in the ruling, dated December 31.

It remains unclear how the families would actually collect the damages from Iran. But the ruling carries symbolic significance for families who have complained about the lack of transparency and accountability in Iran’s investigation of its own military and their inability to seek justice in Iran.

Read the article in The Canberra Times (AAP).