Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Bulgaria Slates Trial Over Bombing That Killed Israelis for Next Year

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.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.