A Russian passenger plane crash in Egypt was not an act of terrorism and the identities of its victims are unknown, an Egyptian appeals court ruled recently, according to the Kommersant business daily.
Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed minutes after takeoff from the Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg on Oct. 31, 2015, killing all 224 people onboard. International investigators established that the Airbus A321 was downed by a bomb, though Egypt continues to claim that it was not a terror attack.
Thirty of the victims’ families sued high-level Egyptian officials at the time of the tragedy, claiming criminal negligence that allowed terrorists to bring a bomb onboard. The families also filed lawsuits against Russia’s Metrojet airline and the Ingosstrakh insurance company in Egypt’s jurisdiction.
An appeals court in Cairo turned down the families’ lawsuit against Egypt’s then-prime minister, as well as the country’s interior, finance and aviation chiefs, Kommersant reported. The decision upheld a lower court’s 2018 ruling.
The court also struck down the lawsuit against Metrojet and Ingosstrakh, Kommersant reported, ruling that the identities of the 224 victims have not been officially established and that it's impossible to issue compensation to them as a result.
The families’ lawyer Mikhail Zagaynov called the court rulings “unethical.”
“[The defendants] are well aware that the victims were in fact onboard the plane and the insurance company has a complete list of all the victims’ relatives,” Kommersant quoted lawyer David Kukhalashvili as saying.
Zagaynov said they plan to appeal the rulings with Egypt’s supreme court.