Bulgaria Sentences Two Men to Life in Prison for 2012 Hezbollah Bombing That Killed Five Israelis

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Damaged buses at Bourgas airport after a bomb explosion on July 18, 2012.
Damaged buses at Bourgas airport after a bomb explosion on July 18, 2012.Credit: AFP

A Bulgarian court sentenced two men to life imprisonment without parole on Monday over a 2012 bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver at a Black Sea airport.

The Specialized Criminal Court found Meliad Farah, 39, an Australian of Lebanese origin, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 32, a Canadian of Lebanese origin, guilty of involvement as accomplices in the attack at the city of Burgas's airport on July 18, 2012. The two men were tried in absentia.

Judge Adelina Ivanova, delivering the verdict before up to about 15 journalists wearing protective face masks because of the coronavirus crisis, said details of the verdict would be published at a later stage

The coffins of the five victims of the 2012 Burgas bus bombing arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport.Credit: Nir Keidar

The verdict can be appealed within 15 days.

Bulgarian authorities blamed Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah for the attack that also wounded 38 Israeli tourists. Iranian-backed Hezbollah has denied involvement.

The European Union subsequently placed Hezbollah's armed wing on its terrorism blacklist.

In the attack, a man of dual Lebanese-French citizenship blew up a bomb in a backpack he was carrying close to a bus at the airport. The attacker, identified as Mohamad Hassan El Husseini, was killed in the attack.

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