Bulgarian court gives life sentences in absentia to two Hezbollah terrorists for their role in a 2012 bus bombing that killed five Israelis.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
A judge in Bulgaria sentenced two suspected Hezbollah members to life in prison Monday for the 2012 bus bombing at the Burgas airport that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian bus driver.
The two men, Meliad Farah, 39, a dual citizen of Lebanon and Australia, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 32, who had dual Canadian-Lebanese citizenship, were found guilty by judge Judge Adelina Ivanova for their roles in blowing up the bus at the airport in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort city of Burgas on July 18, 2012.
Evidence found at the scene linked the two men to the crime, but the two have never been apprehended and the attackers were tried in absentia.
The two were convicted of helping the bomber, a dual French-Lebanese citizen named Mohamad Hassan El Husseini who was killed when the bomb exploded, setting the bus on fire.
Security cameras at the airport showed El Husseini loitering beside the bus with a backpack before putting it inside the luggage compartment when it exploded.
Bulgarian officials had said the terror cell had arrived a month before the attack. They called the cell members sophisticated and well-trained.
Farah and Hassan left Bulgaria the day after the attack.
The Israeli tourists killed were all in their twenties except for Kochava Shriki of Rishon LeZion who was 42 and pregnant. Another 38 Israelis were injured in the bombing.
A 2012 New York Times report quoted American security officials who identified the suicide bomber as a member of a cell from the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group, which was operating in Bulgaria and looking to attack Israeli targets.
Forensic investigators found that all of the fake drivers licenses used by the terrorists were printed on the same printer at a Lebanese university and that the suspects received money from people linked to Hezbollah.
The two convicted terrorists are still at large and are on Interpol’s most-wanted list.