Canada hosts international meeting in London on Flight PS752 crash

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is hosting an international group in London today to discuss the need for a thorough investigation into the Ukrainian passenger flight that was shot down in Iran last week.

 All 176 aboard, including 57 Canadians, were killed last week when an Iranian missile hit Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.

Canada is chairing the first gathering of the international co-ordination and response group, which includes four other countries that lost citizens in the crash: Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain.

Champagne will take questions at 10:30 a.m. ET. CBC News is carrying it live online.

The group is expected to discuss how to work with Iranian authorities to play a larger role in the investigation.

The Canadian Press reports Dutch officials are also coming because of their expertise following the five-year probe of the deadly shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine thatinvestigators have blamed on Russia.

Under international law, Iran is leading the investigation because the crash occurred within its borders, but there are precedents for handing that responsibility over to another country that suffered losses.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says Iran is co-operating with the two Canadian investigators on the scene, but they still want official status in Iran’s investigation — which would allow Canadian officials to take part in the analysis of the flight recorders’ data.

“We will be sending very, very strong messages to Iran,” Garneau said of the meeting on Wednesday in Ottawa.

“President [Hassan] Rouhani has made some comment to the effect that they want to co-operate, but of course the question on everybody’s mind is: Will they deliver on that promise?”

Garneau said Canada is also seeking compensation from those responsible after an investigation.

“One of the requirements from Canada’s point of view, along with justice, is compensation, compensation to be provided by those that stand guilty of playing a role in this tragic accident. But let’s do the homework first,” said Garneau.

The prime minister’s parliamentary secretary, Omar Alghabra, said the government is also considering offering the family members a form of interim compensation while they wait for a proper compensation claim to be settled with Iran.

“We are actively exploring these options and we hope a decision will be made in short order,” Alghabra said. 

Watch: Universities pay tribute to knowledge lost on Flight 752.

Universities across Canada fell silent Wednesday afternoon to pay tribute to the students, professors and PhD candidates killed on Flight 752. 3:09