A five-member panel of the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced two men of Lebanese descent to life imprisonment without parole on Monday over the 2012 Sarafovo airport bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver.
Meliad Farah, an Australian citizen, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian citizen, were tried in their absence for the murder of six people, attempted murder of 35 persons and damage to property. They were found guilty of being accomplices to Mohamad Hassan El Husseini who was the suicide bomber responsible for the blast. The court ordered them to pay compensation of BGN 100 million to the families of the victims and the injured. Farah and Hassan are also on Interpol’s international red list.
Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev said at a briefing in the city of Dupnitsa last month that evidence showed Hezbollah military wing provided financial and logistical backing for the bombing. He also wrote on Twitter on Monday that the Bulgarian court and prosecutor’s office did their best to obtain justice. In his post, he also said that the two men have a connection with Hezbollah.
Prosecutor Evgeniya Shtarkelova said, “The court’s sentence reflects the punishment we asked for and is adequate to the committed crimes. Whether it will be served or not will be a result of the search of the wanted persons, which is ongoing.” An appeal from the decision of the Specialized Criminal Court to the Specialized Criminal Court of Appeal is possible within 15 days.