A new report is accusing Iranian authorities of tampering with the electronic devices and misidentifying the remains of some of the passengers killed on Ukrainian Flight 752.
All 176 people on board the Kyiv-bound airliner were killed when the Boeing 737-800 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard minutes after taking off from the Tehran airport.
The families enlisted a retired Toronto police homicide detective, Mark Mendelson, whose consulting firm examined a laptop and cellphones returned to the families. He concluded the devices “showed evidence of human manipulation” and showed no evidence of burn patterns or other signs of damage consistent with the plane slamming into the ground.
“The fact that these memory/data components are missing is not consistent with damage caused by a sudden and hard impact. Moreover, the fact that screws were removed and covers pried open strongly suggests that concerted efforts were made to extract these components, rendering a review of data impossible.”
The report accused Iranian authorities of a “systematic coverup” of the cause of the crash.
The report also says Iranian authorities botched the identification of some of the victims, a revelation that will only increase the pain and suffering of their loved ones.
“The association has obtained evidence that DNA testing on some victims’ bodies did not match their stated identification by Iranian authorities,” the report says.
“This neglectfulness on the part of the government of Iran has had serious psychological consequences for families, some of whom did not receive the whole bodies of their loved ones and were given the remains of other victims instead.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly joined counterparts from Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom, collectively known as the International Co-ordination and Response Group for the victims of Ukrainian Flight PS752, in criticizing Iran’s refusal to meet this week to negotiate reparations.