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MOSCOW, March 29 (Itar-Tass) – A criminal case is opened over the Mi-8 helicopter crash in Sudan, in which four Russian citizens died, the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) told Itar-Tass on Friday.
The Mi-8 was shot down in the Republic of South Sudan on December 21. The helicopter of the Nizhnevartovsk airline worked under contract with the U.N mission in the African country. Official representatives of South Sudan admitted that the helicopter was shot down by the military, though they were informed, according to the set procedure, about the planned flight. Last week. U.N. experts were sent to the country to conduct an inquiry in addition to the Sudanese authorities' investigation.
The Russian Investigative Committee’s Ural regional department for transport has opened a criminal case over the incident on charges of killing of two and more people, deliberate destruction of property and an attack against persons who are under international protection.
According to the preliminary information, the crew was on a reconnaissance flight on assignment of the U.N. mission. The missile explosion destroyed systems of the helicopter and caused the intensive fire, an SK source said.
Persons who commit crimes against Russian citizens outside Russia are subject to prosecution under the Russian Criminal Code.
To establish objective circumstances of the incident, information has been received from the Russian Foreign Ministry, and a technical conclusion is also received from the Rosaviation federal air transport agency. The investigators have the results of medical examination of the victims. Damage to the owner company from the crash is estimated at more than 26 million roubles. The investigation is continuing, the source said.