10 May 2021

SARAFOVO CASE IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN AT SECOND INSTANCE IN THE APPELLATE SPECIALIZED CRIMINAL COURT ON JUNE 9, 2021

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The Appellate Specialized Criminal Court scheduled to begin an open hearing of Sarafovo Airport terror attack case as a second instance on June 9, 2021.

On September 21, 2020, the Specialized Criminal Court imposed the severest of punishments under Bulgarian law - "life imprisonment without parole" on the two defendants - Lebanese citizens Meliad Farah and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, for complicity in organizing the attack. Record compensation for the Bulgarian justice system for a total of over BGN 100 million was awarded to the relatives of those killed and injured in the attack.

On June 18, 2012, an explosive device exploded in a bus with Israeli tourists arriving on vacation in Bulgaria. Five Israeli citizens were killed, the Bulgarian bus driver and the physical perpetrator of the bomb attack - the Algerian citizen Mohamed Hassan El-Husseini. Nearly 40 people were injured.

The investigation of the Specialized Prosecutor's Office in the case proved that the assailant Mohamed Hassan El Husseini acted in complicity with the Lebanese Meliad Farah and Hassan El-Haj Hassan. According to the evidence gathered they had links to the military wing of Hezbollah, which is believed to have provided the financing and logistics of the terrorist attack. The two defendants were tried in absentia because they were not found out during the pre-trial proceedings and the trial. At this point in time, their search with a red ballot of Interpol is ongoing.

The Sarafovo case has had a widespread international response.