False start for the third time in Bulgarian special court trial of Bourgas Airport terrorist attack accused

For the third time, Bulgaria’s Special Criminal Court has not proceeded with the trial of two accused of involvement in the July 2012 terrorist attack at Bourgas Airport that left five Israelis, a Bulgarian and a suicide bomber dead.

The hearing that had been scheduled for March 29 2017 was postponed until late May. The first hearing in the trial had been set for September 26 2016, but was postponed to November 10, when it was again postponed.

Bulgarian National Television reported that the March 29 hearing was adjourned because of procedures related to the summoning of Israeli citizens who were injured in the attack. This was the same reason given for previous postponements.

Those accused in the terrorist attack on the group of Israeli tourists on July 18 2012 are Meliad Farah, holder of Australian and Lebanese citizenship, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian passport-holder, who face terrorism and document fraud charges in connection with their assistance of Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, who died in the bomb attack on a tourist bus that had been meant to take the Israelis to a popular Bulgarian Black Sea resort.

On February 5 2013, Bulgaria announced that its investigation into the July 2012 Bourgas terrorist bombing had established a link to Hezbollah’s military wing. Identikits of alleged accomplices were published worldwide and a request sent to Lebanon to hand over the suspects.

An international investigation led by Bulgaria established that the terrorist attack was the work of the military wing of Hezbollah. This led to the European Union declaring Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organisation.

The two accused are the subject of an Interpol search warrant but have not been taken into custody, which is why the trial is being held in absentia.




The Sofia Globe staff

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