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Families of those who died on board flight PS752 said they walked out of a meeting with RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki this week, disappointed and frustrated that, 17 months after the shooting, mounted police had not accepted the offer of Ukraine to create a joint investigation team or launch its own criminal investigation. in Canada.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down the commercial plane on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadians and 35 permanent residents.The families say Lucki told them the case is too difficult and complex to investigate on Canadian soil since only Iran has access to the evidence gathered at the scene.
Kouroush Doustshenas’ fiancée, Dr Forough Khadem, died on flight PS752. He told a parliamentary committee investigating the government’s response Thursday night that he could not understand the RCMP’s decision.
“One hundred and seventy-six corpses,” said Doustshenas. “I think that’s reason enough to open a criminal investigation. I understand that they might not have access to all the evidence in Iran, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to open a criminal investigation. “
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko said his country asked Ottawa in April 2020 to create a joint investigative team. Over a year later, he says he hasn’t received a response.
“We understand that Ukraine [joint investigative team] proposal is under consideration along with other tools for international legal assistance, ”Shevchenko wrote in a statement to CBC News.
Aid was “very slow”
Following the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, a joint investigation team formed by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine has concluded that a Russian missile was to blame. Canada lost a citizen in this disaster; the federal government said at the time that it “supported” the investigation and trial, but Canada was not part of the joint team.
The RCMP said in a statement to CBC News that although joint investigative teams are being used by other countries, the federal government consulted its “legal advisers” on this matter for flight PS752 and concluded that they cannot be used here.
“A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is used in many European jurisdictions, however, this concept does not exist in Canadian law,” the RCMP said.
Instead, the RCMP said Canada supports Ukraine’s investigation through its RCMP officers in Ukraine and is sharing evidence.
But Ukraine says it has been in the dark for months about previous evidence.
WATCH | Ukraine is considering the International Criminal Court:
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