Two men are facing life imprisonment over a bus bombing that claimed the lives of five Israeli nationals in Bulgaria in 2012.
Al Jazeera reported on Monday that Bulgaria’s Specialised Criminal Court found Meliad Farah, 39, an Australian of Lebanese origin, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 32, a Canadian of Lebanese origin, guilty over their involvements in the attack at the Burgas airport on July 8, 2012.
The two men were tried in absentia or a court proceeding in which the person being heard is not physically present. Their whereabouts are unknown.
Reading the verdict to at least 15 journalists, Judge Adelina Ivanova who handled the case said further details would be published at a later stage. The suspects could file for a motion for reconsideration in 15 days.
It can be recalled that a man of dual Lebanese-French citizenship was carrying a bomb inside his backpack and blew it up close to a bus at the airport. He was killed during the attack.
Bulgarian authorities were unable to establish whether the attack was triggered by the attacker himself or remotely detonated by one of the two suspects who were convicted for supporting the bomber’s logistics needs.
According to the report, Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor believed that the attack in terms of logistics and financing was organised by one of the largest political parties and militant groups called Hezbollah.
Bulgarian authorities also blamed the militant group for the attack albeit the latter denied any involvement.
Hezbollah has been accused of carrying out a series of bombings and plots against Jewish and Israeli targets, and it was designated a terrorist organisation by several Western states and Israel.
As such, the European Union has put Hezbollah’s armed wing on its terrorism blacklist.
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