Bulgaria Slates Trial Over Bombing That Killed Israelis for Next Year

Suspects May Be Tried in Absentia

haaretz

By Reuters

Published September 12, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Bulgaria intends to put suspects in a bus bombing that killed five Israelis on trial early next year, even if they have to be judged in absentia, the country’s chief prosecutor said on Thursday.

Bulgarian authorities have named two men of Lebanese origin as suspects and said it believed the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim militant group Hezbollah was behind the July 2012 bombing that targeted Israeli holidaymakers. But Sofia has not revealed all its evidence and Hezbollah denies any involvement.

The EU agreed on July 22 to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist over concerns it was involved in the bombing at the airport of the Black Sea city of Burgas.

“Our intention is to go to court. An indictment should be prepared in the near future, in the first three months of next year when we have collected explicit data for the guilty persons,” Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov told reporters.

The Balkan country has identified the suspects as 32-year-old Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, an Australian citizen, and 25-year-old Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian citizen, both of Lebanese origin.

Bulgarian authorities have alleged that Farah and Hassan provided the explosive device and logistical support, while a third man was the actual bomber and died in the explosion.

Tsatsarov said prosecutors had established the identity and whereabouts of at least two suspects and planned to seek their extradition to Bulgaria. He declined to name the country the suspects were in.

Earlier this year, a senior interior ministry official said the two suspected accomplices were spotted in Lebanon after the airport attack.

Tsatsarov said the trial would be held whether or not the suspects were handed over to Bulgarian authorities.

“We need to send a crystal clear signal that such terrorism meets zero tolerance in Bulgaria. If we cannot bring them to court in person, we will charge them in absence but we will send a clear signal that such investigations in Bulgaria end with a verdict,” Tsatsarov said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.