Liberals Side With Iranian Regime In Court Over Flight PS752 Victims

Written By Ardeshir Zarezadeh, Posted on April 2, 2022

On April 1, 2022, the government of Canada intervened in the court action in favor of the Islamic republic of Iran and blocked the motion to seize Iranian government’s assets in Canada, meaning that PM Trudeau is not keeping his promise to hold the Iranian government to account.

Senior lawyer Mark Arnold filed a motion at the Ontario Court of Justice on behalf of the families of the victims of the flight PS752 to seek declaratory relief and an Order permitting them to seize and sell land and bank accounts of the  defendant, the Islamic Republic of Iran, that purport to comprise diplomatic property of that defendant in Canada. This Motion in this proceeding arose from the January 8, 2020 shooting down of Ukraine Airlines Flight PS752 in Tehran, Iran killing all passengers on board including approximately 75 Canadians. 

Flight PS752 victims

The Canadian government’s Foreign Affairs Department, in its argument, believes that the motion to seize Iran’s property is premature. Foreign Affairs argue that Iran was not put on notice in regard to enforcing the default judgement. 

On May 20, 2021, Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Court of Justice, granted default judgment on liability (Zarei et al v. Islamic Republic of Iran et al) and held that: The plaintiffs have established that the shooting down of Flight 752 by the defendants was an act of terrorism and constitutes “terrorist activity” under the SIA, the JVTA and the provisions of the Criminal Code. On December 31, 2021, Justice Belobaba granted a further default judgment on damages and held that the plaintiffs in Zarei were entitled, collectively, to receive $107,000,000, divided among them pursuant to the Judgment.  

Mark Arnold submitted that the government is not helping the families, blocking their ways to justice and remaining opaque. The plaintiffs must wait until they receive a certified copy of the certificate of the service to Iran by Foreign Affairs Canada. 

Justice Vermette reserved her decision.  

It is noteworthy that the government has intervened in this proceeding at the very last minute. In communication between Mark Arnold and government counsel, there was no indication that the government wanted to intervene in the case and the government was never a party to the proceeding. Suddenly, the government’s counsel filed materials with the court to intervene in the case. 

Blocking this motion by the government of Canada sends a message to the families of the victims of PS752 that the government does not want to support their efforts for justice. Trudeau repeatedly said his government will hold Iran to account and bring justice for the families, however, his acts say otherwise. Canada’s forensic report indicated that the shooting was a system failure, despite evidence to the contrary

The ICHR, along with other organizations, the Iranian Canadian community and senior lawyer Mr. Mark Arnold will keep fighting for justice and continue working hard to ensure that the regime in Iran be held accountable and brought to justice.  

Canada must recognize that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down the aircraft intentionally and committed a terrorist act.  It must declare the IRGC  a terrorist entity and support the families of the victims of PS752 in their private law suits against Iran as well as in their demand to take Iranian regime to the international criminal court. 

Ardeshir Zarezadeh

One response to “Liberals Side With Iranian Regime In Court Over Flight PS752 Victims”

  1. Avideh Motmaen-Far says:

    Very enlighting article on this subject! Thank you.