For the fourth 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 postponement of the hearing in the trial on May 31 2017 was a sequel to a postponement on March 29. The first hearing in the trial had been set for September 26 2016, but was postponed to November 10, when it was again postponed.
The reason given for the latest postponement was similar to those for the previous postponements – problems in summoning witnesses from Israel, people who were seriously injured in the terrorist attack and relatives of those who were killed.
The father of the Bulgarian bus driver who died in the attack, Mustafa Kyosov, has deposited in court a civil claim for half a million leva. Several of the Israelis have also filed documents for civil claims.
Legal counsel told the court on May 31 that for a sitting scheduled for July, seven of the Israeli citizens would attend in person, having already bought air tickets for Bulgaria.
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.
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.