Bourgas Airport attack trial: 40 witnesses being heard over two days

Bulgaria’s Special Criminal Court is holding hearings over two days in Bourgas of 40 witnesses in connection with the terrorist attack in July 2012 in which five Israel tourists, a Bulgarian bus driver and a bomb-bearer died.

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.

Hotelier Nikolinka Andreeva told the court on May 16, the first of the two days of hearings in the current sitting of the court, that Mohamed Hassan El Husseini hired a room a few days before the attack. He stayed for six days and six nights. On the day of the attack, he paid for his overnight stay, and did not return.

Another of the attackers stayed in Nessebur on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast for two months before the attack. He stayed with a cousin of Plamen Zhekov, who told the court that they had often spoken in a nearby café.

“He was suspicious as a tourist, because he said, he had come to look for a woman, and in April you know, tourism has not yet started, so what woman would he meet?”

“His story was that he lived in Sweden, because in Israel some doctors had worn out his sister because of a misdiagnosis and he had exposed them and they tried to destroy them,” Zhekov told the court.

Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini hired a car from a Nessebur company several times. The staffer regarded him as a normal tourist.

Stoyanka Todorova told the court that she had no idea that his papers were false. “He seemed perfectly normal, with a baseball cap. I would even say, with a white face, that is, not with an Arab look”.

The two accused of being accomplices are still be sought by Interpol. Up to now, over 50 civil claims for damages have been received through Bulgarian and Israeli lawyers.



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.