Bulgaria’s Special Criminal Court is set to deliver its verdict regarding the airport bus attack that killed 5 Israeli tourists, one Bulgarian bus driver, and the bomb bearer in Burgas, Bulgaria, on July 18th, 2012.
The criminal court linked the terrorist attack to two Hezbollah members and their sentence will therefore be determined by a five-member panel on Monday.
The suicide bomber blew up the tourist bus that picked up 48 Israeli passengers coming from Tel Aviv to a popular Bulgarian Black Sea resort.
In addition to killing the bus driver and 5 of the passengers, it injured the 32 other tourists.
The Bulgarian authorities suspected Meliad Farah, a Lebanese-Australian, and Hassan El-Hajj Hassan, a Lebanese-Canadian, of helping Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini execute the bomb.
A Bulgarian-led international investigation, which took years, managed to prove that Farah and Hassan, members of Hezbollah, are behind the bombing.
While the case findings haven’t been shared with the public, a source of the National Post said, back in 2013, that “evidence recovered at the scene of the blast and intelligence information clearly show that Hezbollah was to blame.”
The Canadian media agency also reported from its source that “the suspects received money transfers from Hezbollah and the explosives were consistent with Hezbollah methods.”
Adding that “the U.S. driver’s licenses used by the suspects were produced by a Beirut printer that has manufactured other fake IDs for Hezbollah.”
The suspects Meliad Farah and Hassan El-Hajj Hassan, who remain at large and are the subject of an Interpol Red Notice, face charges of terrorism and document fraud in connection with their assistance of the suicide bomber, El-Husseini.
On September 17th, at a plea hearing this week, the prosecution presented evidence of the suspects’ involvement, including testimonies of people who rented cars and temporary accommodations to the bomb-bearer and the two accused.
The prosecution asked that Farah and Hassan be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the terrorist attack.
Council of the families of those who died and were injured asked the court to hold Hezbollah accountable for the terrorist attack and that the families be granted compensation.
Local news reported that the investigation “concluded that the military wing of Hezbollah was behind the terrorist attack.”
According to the Prosecutor-General, “there was information that Hezbollah had provided the financing and logistics for the terrorist attack,” reported Bulgarian National Radio.
However, Hezbollah is not included in the indictment as Bulgaria cannot prosecute an organization.
From his side, the court-appointed counsel for the defense is calling for acquittals, arguing that there was no direct evidence that linked the two accused to the attack.