Bulgarian supreme court confirms life sentences for Bourgas Airport terrorist attack

Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation has confirmed at final instance the life sentences without parole for Meliad Farah and Hassan El Hajj Hassan for their role in the July 2012 terrorist attack at Bourgas Airport in which five Israelis and a Bulgarian died.

This was announced on March 7 2023 by Prosecutor-General Ivan Geshev.

Meliad Farah, holder of Australian and Lebanese citizenship, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian passport-holder, are the subject of an Interpol red notice. Both were tried in absentia after charges against them were lodged in 2016.

Geshev said civil claims by the heirs of the dead had been upheld.

In September 2020, Bulgaria’s Specialised Criminal Court ordered those convicted to pay 100 million leva in compensation to the relatives of the Israelis and the Bulgarian who died in the attack.

Those who died in the attack were Israeli citizens Maor Harush, Itzik Kolangi, Amir Menashe, Elior Preiss, Kochava Shriki and Bulgarian Mustafa Kyosov, the driver of the bus that was the target of the terrorist attack.

The bomb-bearer, Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, died in the attack.

The United States designated Hezbollah a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.

The UK parliament deemed all of Hezbollah a terrorist group in 2019, followed by the German government in 2020, as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Serbia and Slovenia, adding to the considerable list of countries that have declared Hezbollah a terrorist organisation.

The terrorist attack led to the EU declaring, in July 2013, the military wing of Hezbollah a terrorist organisation.

(Archive photo: Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry)

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